4 Canonizations Planned This Sunday

Includes Founders of Religious Congregations

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 23, 2001 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II will canonize four people this Sunday, including three founders of religious congregations.

The four are:

–Joseph Marello (1844-1895), bishop, founder of the Congregation of Oblates of St. Joseph.

–Paula Montal Fornés of St. Joseph Calasanz (1799-1889), founder of the Institute of Daughters of Mary, religious of the Pious Schools.

–Leonie Françoise de Sales Aviat (1844-1914), founder of the Congregation of the Religious Oblates of St. Francis de Sales.

–Maria Crescentia Höss (1682-1744), religious of the Third Order of St. Francis.

Joseph Marello, born in Turin, founded the Oblates of St. Joseph, a community of priests and brothers whose vocation is to assist bishops and clergy in their mission of evangelization.

In 1889, the Pope named Marello bishop of Asti, where he dedicated himself to youth and the abandoned. He died in Savona from a cerebral hemorrhage on May 30. Pope Leo XIII described him as a «valuable pearl of the Church.»

Paula Montal Fornés was born into a family of artisans in Arenys de Mar, Barcelona, Spain, on Oct. 11, 1799. Following her father´s death, when she was 10, she began to work as a seamstress and lace-maker, while at the same time being involved in the parish catechesis of girls and youth.

In 1829, she founded the Congregation of Daughters of Mary, Religious of the Pious Schools, opening a school for girls in Figueras, northern Catalonia. Seven more foundations followed before her death at Olesa de Montserrat, at Barcelona, on Feb. 26, 1889.

At the time of her death, 308 scholastics and 38 novices were living her spiritual and educational ideal, teaching 3,464 girls in 19 schools throughout Spain.

Leonie Françoise de Sales Aviat was born in Sezanne, France, in 1844. At a young age she discovered St. Francis de Sales´ spirituality. Eventually, as a religious, she took the saint´s name.

In 1858 Father Louis Brisson founded the Work of St. Francis de Sales to offer a human and Christian education to young girls who worked in the textile factories of the area. When he met Leonie, he discovered the collaborator he was seeking to found the Congregation of the Sisters Oblates of St. Francis de Sales.

Father Brisson´s plans were realized in 1866, and Pope Pius X approved their constitutions in 1911. Sister Leonie Frances de Sales, first Superior General, founded schools for general basic education in the parishes, and a residence for girls in Paris.

In time, the congregation´s work of evangelization spread elsewhere in Europe, and to South Africa and Ecuador.

Maria Crescentia Höss was born in Kaufbeuren, Bavaria, in 1682 and was baptized Anna. She entered religious life in the city of her birth, where she spent her entire life. As a religious tertiary, for 40 years she experienced an intense mystical life coupled with interior suffering.

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