3 Women and a Bishop Canonized as Saints

Pope Holds Up Europeans as Models

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 25, 2001 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II canonized three religious and a bishop today, presenting them as models for men and women in the new millennium.

The new women saints are:

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

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

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

The new canonized bishop is Giuseppe Marello (1844-1895), founder of the Congregation of Oblates of St. Joseph.

Referring to today´s solemnity of Christ the King, John Paul II explained that, just like the «good thief,» these four new saints listened to Jesus´ words: «In truth I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.»

«Today!» the Pope stressed. «This ´today´ also contains the historic moment of today´s canonization, in which these four exemplary witnesses of evangelical life are raised to the glory of the altars.»

On a cold Rome morning, the canonization took place in St. Peter´s Basilica. During the homily, the Pontiff highlighted the message left by the new saints.

The Holy Father began with Bishop Marello of Acqui, apostle of youth and the abandoned, to whom he would say: «Be extraordinary in ordinary things.»

John Paul II then mentioned the new Spanish saint, Paula Montal Fornés of St. Joseph Calasanz, whose educational charism of promoting woman and the family «is a source of inspiration in the formation of the generations of the third Christian millennium.»

The figure of France´s Leonie Françoise de Sales Aviat, who also dedicated her life to the promotion and education of women, especially the poorest, is a call «to go against the current of egotism and easy pleasures, and to open ourselves to the social and spiritual needs of our time,» the Bishop of Rome said.

Lastly, the Pontiff highlighted the testimony of German religious Maria Crescentia Höss, of the Third Order of St. Francis, who for 40 years lived an intense mystical life and interior suffering and, at the same time, at the height of the 18th century, was adviser to the archbishop of Cologne. Thanks to her faith, the Pope stressed, «she endured the intrigues of her own community, without ever doubting her vocation.»

In his 23-year pontificate, John Paul II has canonized 456 saints and beatified 1,282.

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