Popes John Paul II And John XXIII To Be Declared Saints In Canonisation Ceremony On April 27

Former Popes John XXIII and John Paul II are to be declared saints next year, it was announced on Monday.

Pope Francis delivered the news during a meeting with cardinals inside the Apostolic Palace, the Vatican’s official news agency reports.

The canonisation ceremony will be carried out on 27 April 2014, the same day which the Church celebrates the Second Sunday of Easter and Divine Mercy.

Pope John XXII was the head of the Catholic Church from 1958 until his death in 1963

Pope Francis cleared the two former heads of the Catholic Church for sainthood earlier this year, approving a miracle needed to canonise John Paul II and waiving Vatican rules to honour John XXIII, the Associated Press reported.

In May Pope Francis held a canonisation ceremony which saw the creation of over 800 new saints.

Many of those honoured were victims of a 15th-century massacre in the Italian town of Otranto carried out by Ottoman soldiers.

John Paul II served as Pope from 1978 to 2005

Eight hundred and thirteen Italians, the "martyrs of Otranto" were beheaded for refusing to convert to Christianity in 1480.

The name of only one of the victims, Antonio Primaldo, is known.

Others canonised include two nuns from Latin America, Laura Montoya from Colombia and Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala from Mexico.