2006-10-14 15:05:31

Four new saints for the Church

(Oct. 14, 2006) Pope Benedict XVI will preside over a solemn canonization Mass in St. Peter’s Square in Rome on Sunday, October 15, to raise to the glory of the altar 4 new saints.
The new saints are:
* Mother Theodore Guerin, the French-born founder of the American Sisters of Providence of St. Mary of the Woods;
* Mexican Bishop Rafael Guizar Valencia of Veracruz/Jalapa;
* Italian priest, Fr. Filippo Smaldone, the founder of the Salesian Sisters of the Sacred Heart; and
* Italian Sr. Rosa Venerini, the founder of the Maestre Pie Venerini.

Mother Theodore Guerin was born in Brittany, France, on Oct. 2, 1798, and entered the Sisters of Providence in 1823. In 1840, she and five other nuns travelled to the United States, setting up a community in the Indiana frontier to work in schools and orphanages. She died on May 14, 1856. Today the congregation has 500 members, in the US and in China, Taiwan, and the Philippines. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1998.

Bishop Rafael Guizar Valencia was born at Michoacan, Mexico, on April 26th 1878 and ordained a priest in 1901, at the age of only 21. He was a theology teacher and spiritual director in the Zamora diocesan seminary, and became known for his care for condemned men and their families during the Mexican Revolution. In 1919 he was named Bishop of Veracruz, remaining in that post until his death-- although religious persecution repeatedly forced him into exile, in the US, Guatemala, Colombia, and Cuba. He died on June 6, 1938 in Mexico City. Bishop Rafael Guizar was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1995.

Fr. Filippo Smaldone was born in Naples, Italy on July 27, 1848. He co-founded the Salesian Sisters of the Sacred Heart, a congregation specializing in education of the deaf, in 1885. Later he also founded a group devoted to Eucharistic adoration. He died on June 4, 1923 and was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1996.

Sr. Rosa Venerini was born in Viterbo, Italy, February 9, 1656. Founding a teaching order, in 1685 she opened the first public school for women in Italy. She went on to establish a number of schools in the Montefiascone diocese. She died in Rome May 7, 1728 and was beatified by Pope Pius XII in 1952.

Sunday’s canonization is the second in the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI since his election in April last year. His first canonization ceremony was on Oct. 23 last year when he declared 5 new saints.

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