East Village parishioners feel intimate tie to Vatican canonizations

Kemberly Richardson has more from the Lower East Side. (WABC)
April 27, 2014 8:22:02 PM PDT
Parishioners in the East Village feel a unique closeness to the unprecedented events that unfolded Sunday at the Vatican - a direct and intimate tie.

A gold cross at the Saint Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr Church contains a trace of Pope John Paul II's blood. The relic was gifted to the Polish church last April. Many churchgoers believe that Sunday morning's ceremony in St. Peter's Square confirmed what they have long known about John Paul II.

"You can see how he draws people to Jesus Christ, he wasn't the one who drove people to himself," said Father Tadeusz Livincdyk.

Many say they never in their lifetime thought they would see a double canonization. Pope Francis praised both John Paul II and Pope John XXIII for their work associated with the Second Vatican Council, the groundbreaking meeting that brought the 2,000-year-old institution into modern times.

A small delegation from the close-knit congregation made the pilgrimage to Rome, but the vast majority watched the early-morning ceremony unfold on TV. Being front and center, they say, and able to pray this close to what is now a symbol of sainthood, they consider a privilege and an honor.