A Polish pilgrim holds up a poster as he travels to the Vatican to witness the canonisations of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II
A Polish pilgrim holds up a poster as he travels to the Vatican to witness the canonisations of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II Reuters

The Vatican City in Rome is attracting the faithful to witness one of the most remarkable events in the history of the Roman Catholic Church.

Preparations are in full swing for 27 April when two former popes will be declared saints by Pope Francis.

The Vatican will hold an unprecedented twin canonisation of Pope John XXIII and the late Pope John Paul II on Sunday in the presence of hundreds of faithful and the former Pope Benedict.

Pope John XXIII was pontiff from 1958 to 1963 and called the Second Vatican Council, a landmark meeting that modernised the Church. He did so in his short five-year reign.

Pope John Paul II reigned for nearly 27 years before his death in 2005 and his trips around the world made him the most visible pope in history.

Have a look at the preparations in the Vatican ahead of the twin canonisation ceremony in pictures below.

Pope Francis
A faithful holds a John Paul II picture in St Peter\'s square at the Vatican on April 26, 2014. Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II will be declared saints at a twin canonisation ceremony in the Vatican by Pope Francis on Sunday. Reuters