Bishop Richard J. Malone called Pope Francis’ decision to canonize Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII “a day of great joy for the entire Catholic church.”

The head of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo said the two holy men “shepherded the church during very different, very important times.”

“John XXIII’s leadership during the Second Vatican Council, combined with John Paul II’s guidance as the church truly became global, his call to the new evangelization, outreach to inactive Catholics and transformation of the culture, all worked to inspire countless people to witness their faith and work to better the lives of others,” the bishop said in a statement.

“It is my prayer and hope that these modern day saints will inspire people, especially the young, to faithfully serve the church and all of mankind,” Malone said.