Popes John Paul II and John XXIII have been made saints by Pope Francis I and local New Haven residents come to celebrate their canonization.
People in Connecticut are celebrating the canonizations in the presence of a relic of St. John Paul II on display in New Haven.
With pride and joy hundreds marched down State Street in celebration of the canonization of now St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II. Many wore traditional Polish clothing and waved Poland's flag following behind a relic from someone once known as the "People's Pope."
"It's very exciting. Words can't even express how I feel just to know someone in my lifetime is a saint," said Hamden resident Annette Gwardyak.
Many in the area feel a close connection to St. John Paul II. Their celebration on Sunday began with a prayer service at St. Stanislaus Church, a traditional Polish church.
"To see him rise to the papacy to a position of leadership that high in the world was, in their minds, one of their own achieving something very special, and today he achieved the ultimate," said Peter Sonski, Education, Outreach, & Visitor Services Manager for the Knights of Columbus Museum.
At the forefront of the celebration was a relic from St. John Paul II, a piece of the cassock he wore the day of the assassination attempt against him back in 1981.
Parishioners followed the relic to the Knights of Columbus Museum and lined up inside to honor it. The moment brought them closer to a saint and with Catholics all over the world.
"It's great to be a part of a celebration that is universal, a celebration that of course began in Rome but has spread out throughout all parts of the world," said Sonski.
"He was from Poland, but he was everybody's Pope. And everybody loved him," said Gwardyak.
The museum will have the relic available for veneration on Monday and Tuesday.
To find out more about the events taking place to honor St. John Paul II, go here: www.kofcmuseum.org/