PEORIA, Ill. -- Pope Francis declared his two predecessors, John XXIII and John Paul II, as Saints on Sunday.
It was the first ever canonization of two pontiffs.
Pope Francis described Saint John XXIII as "The Pope of Openness to the Spirit" and Saint John Paul II as "The Pope of the Family."
Many Catholics here in Peoria celebrated this day with a special ceremony.
For a lot of Catholics, what makes this canonization even more special is that John Paul II is the pope they grew up with.
"'m pretty happy to say, 'I know someone who's a canonized Saint,'" said Bishop Daniel Jenky of the Peoria Catholic Diocese.
"I grew up knowing him as my pope," said Craig Dyke with the Peoria Catholic Diocese. "And that was an exciting thing to embrace his teachings and see his way of life. And now for him to be declared a Saint is outstanding."
However, there is some controversy around their "road to canonization."
John the XXIII only had one miracle instead of the required two for Sainthood.
And some question how quickly these two popes were canonized.
Usually it takes decades to reach sainthood.
John Paul II became a saint just nine years after his death.
But parishioners at St. Mary's Cathedral in Peoria say they trust the judgement of those in charge.
"That's up to the Holy Father and the Vatican," said St. Mary's parishioner Steve Young" It's an historic event, so we're happy about it. It's a great move, they deserve it. It's a great day for the Catholic church."
"I think that's a silly objection. Either they were holy men or they weren't; and it won't make them any more holy if they wait ten years," said St. Mary's parishioner George Henderson.