The Feast Days of Saints John XXIII and John Paul II will be on October 11th and October 22nd respectively, the Vatican has announced.
In a decree published in today’s edition of L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican said Pope Francis had approved putting the saints on the Church’s general Roman calendar of feast days in light of “countless requests from every part of the world.” The decree, issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, stated they will be optional and not obligatory memorials.
Vatican watcher Sandro Magister notes that the saints will join fifteen other popes – in addition to St. Peter – mentioned in the calendar. Only four of these are an “obligatory memorial”: St. Gregory the Great (Sept. 3), St. Cornelius (Sept. 16) and St. Leo the Great (Nov. 10). The only holy pontiff of the second millennium with a mandatory feast day is St. Pius X (Aug. 21).
New norms regarding obligatory and mandatory feast days were implemented in 2007 to account for the relatively large number of saints who are now celebrated in the Church.