Hundreds of thousands gather at St Peter's Square

Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Saint Peter's Square for a historic day of four popes with Francis and Benedict XVI honouring their predecessors John XXIII and John Paul II and declaring them saints in the first ever canonisation of two pontiffs.

Hundreds of thousands pack the square at Vatican City. Credit: RTV

Polish pilgrims carrying the red and white flags of John Paul's homeland were among the first to press into the square well before sunrise, held back by human chains of neon-vested civil protection workers trying to maintain order.

Polish pilgrims carrying flags and banners wait for a canonisation ceremony Credit: Reuters
A bishop uses his mobile phone to take photographs as he arrives for the canonisation ceremony Credit: Reuters

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Vatican proclaims two popes saints in packed ceremony

Pope Francis has proclaimed John XXIII and John Paul II, two of the great popes of the 20th century, saints today in a double canonization front of thousands of people in Vatican City, Rome.