Greeting the pilgrims present in St. Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus, Holy Father Pope Francis turned his thoughts to a Pope he is preparing to canonize. “Forty years ago Blessed Pope Paul VI – the Pope of modernity – was living his last hours on this earth. He died in the evening of August 6, 1978” he said.

As reported by Vatican news, His Holiness Pope Francis remarked that “We remember him (Pope Paul VI) with great veneration and gratitude” and while awaiting his canonization,from heaven, may he intercede for the Church and for peace in the world.”

The Vatican officially announced in March that the canonization Mass for Paul VI will take place at the close of the Synod of Bishops, an institution Paul VI himself founded. Paul VI, who led the Catholic Church from 1963 to 1978, through the closing of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) is often referred to as the ‘Pope of modernity’ as he oversaw transitions in liturgy, seminary formation, theological study, and many other areas of ecclesiastical life.