Northstate priest to witness historic canonization


REDDING, Calif. - Redding priest, Father George Snyder, will soon be in Rome to witness Pope John Paul II to be canonized as a saint.

Father George said the event has special meaning; he met Pope John Paul II twice.

The former pope's words to the priest were "have courage, be holy."

"I asked him to give me a blessing," Father George said. "And that's the most powerful part of my priesthood."

The pastor has several relics from his previous visits, including the pope's zucchetto, or skull cap.

Now Father George will have the opportunity to see John Paul II declared a saint, and among the hundreds of thousands of people expected to be there Sunday, Father George has seat number 46.

"He touched my forehead, and I can still feel that from the moment he touched me," Father George said. "I am just so thankful for that opportunity."

Pope John the 23rd will also be canonized.

Father George will have the opportunity to meet the current pope, Pope Francis, while he's there.

He said he'll be bringing Pope Francis some Easter Candy.