2009-10-10 13:19:24

Pope Benedict Raises five Saints to the Dignity of the Altar

(October 10, 2009) Pope Benedict XVI will raise to the glory of the Altars five new saints today during the solemn ceremony held in Vatican Rome. This canonisation process takes place in the church as recognition of the saint’s holy life and great example shown as witness to the Gospel. During the first phase of the process of canonisation, a person is referred to as a “Servant of God” and called as venerable. To advance to beatification, a miracle is needed unless the person was a martyr; Martyrs do not require miracles. He or she is then given the title “Blessed.” The ceremony is held normally in the native diocese. A second proven miracle is required for canonization, the final step in the process and the Pope declares him a saint at a ceremony in Rome. The following holy persons will be honoured as saints during the today’s ceremony: Blessed Damian of Molokai, who worked among the lepers and finally contacted the disease and died; Blessed Zygmunt Szczesny Felinski (1822-1895), a Polish archbishop who spent many years in Siberia; Blessed Francesco Coll y Guitart (1812-1875), a Spanish Dominican priest, founder of the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of the Annunciation; Blessed Rafael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938), a 27 year old Spanish Cistercian; and Blessed Mary of the Cross Jeanne Jugan (1792-1879), the French founder of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Pope John Paul II has canonised a total of 476 saints and beatified 1,315 Blessed persons. Pope Benedict has Canonised 14 saints and has declared 563 as blessed of whom 527 are martyrs.

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