The Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and SDLP leader Mark Durkan are at The Vatican to witness Pope Benedict nominating the Catholic Primate Archbishop Sean Brady as a cardinal.
They will attend the special ceremonies in St Peter's Square today and tomorrow when the pope will officially nominate 13 new cardinals.
Senior representatives from church and state in the Republic will also attend, including President Mary McAleese and the Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern.
Earlier this week Taioseach Bertie Ahern congratulated cardinal-nominate Brady personally, prior to a function in Dublin Castle.
A large number of senior clergy from Ireland will be attending the Rome ceremonies.
The Northern representation includes Bishops Gerard Clifford from Armagh, Bishop Francis Lagan from Derry, Bishop John McAreavey from Dromore, Bishop Joseph Duffy of Clogher and Bishops Patrick Walsh, Anthony Farquhar and Donal McKeown from Down and Connor.
There will be live coverage of the two consistories in St Peter's Square on RTE1 today at 9.25am and tomorrow for the "Mass of the Rings", also at 9.25am.