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Faithful exult as pope confers sainthood on 2 predecessors with contrasting legacies

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis made history on Sunday, elevating to sainthood John XXIII and John Paul II, two of his most famous papal predecessors, in a ceremony bearing themes of hope and reconciliation for the world’s 1 billion Roman Catholics. With crowds filling St. Peter’s Square and spilling out across Rome, Francis presided over an elaborate Mass beneath drizzly skies, canonizing the two towering figures of 20th-century Catholicism, men who hold very different legacies in the church. Francis, who made the decision to hold the joint canonization, portrayed the two late popes as “men of courage” who shared a place in history. “They were priests, bishops and popes of the 20th century,” he…