Local Catholic community rejoices over dual canonization

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Sunday marked a historic event for the Catholic community, the canonization of John Paul II and John XXIII. All across the world, people were talking about the canonization.

A local priest, Monsignor Dominick Fullam, even read the same decree to his congregation that Pope Francis read aloud to the hundreds of thousands of people in the Vatican City.

"I just thought to make the connection with us and Rome and the universal church, just to kind of say, this is what the Pope did," said Fullam.

Although he didn't read the decree in front of one and a half million anxious people, there were still plenty of St. Mary's parishioners excited about the double canonization taking place.

"I mean just to be able to talk about it and say we have two modern saints. It's a great thing, especially since they were popes and they have changed the church, but they have changed the world, "said parishioner Shelby Martin.

Fullam actually met John Paul II on two different occasions, but his most memorable experience with the newly canonized saint was on a trip to the Vatican City, where he was invited, along with a very small group, to the Pope's library.

"It was a great experience, just a few words. 'So, where are you from? Mississippi. Oh, Mississippi.' You know, that sort of thing, and he told us to be strong in our priesthood," said Fullam.

Fullam even left with a parting gift, rosary beads from the Pope, an item he cherishes especially now that they are a gift from a saint.

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