On the Canonization of 5 Saints

“The Virgin Mary Is the Star That Guides Every Journey of Sanctity”

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 11, 2009 (ZENIT.org).- Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered today after presiding at the canonization of five new saints, and before praying the Angelus together with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

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At the end of this solemn celebration, we are invited to pray the Angelus. Before reciting it, I would like to address a cordial greeting to all of you, who wanted, by your devout participation, to pay homage to the new saints. A special thought goes to the authorities with the official delegations who have come from various countries: I thank you for your presence.

[In French:]

I greet with joy the French-speaking pilgrims who have come for the occasion of the canonizations. Following the example of St. Jeanne Jugan, I invite you to concern yourselves with the poorest and the least, those who have been wounded by life and the marginalized of our society, above all on the occasion of the World Day to Overcome Extreme Poverty, which will be celebrated in a few days. Remembering the holy Father Damian, I ask you to commit yourselves at the same time to support with your prayer and your works those who generously dedicate themselves to the struggle against leprosy and against other forms of leprosy that are due to lack of love because of ignorance and cowardice. May your prayer accompany the work sessions of the 2nd African Synod. May God bless all of you!

[In English:]

I extend cordial greetings to all the English-speaking pilgrims here this Sunday, especially those who have come to Rome in such great numbers for today’s canonization. May these new saints accompany you with their prayers and inspire you by the example of their holy lives. I also greet the group of survivors of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and I pray that the world may never again witness such mass destruction of innocent human life. May God bless all of you, as well as your families and loved ones at home.

[In German:]

I cordially greet the German-speaking pilgrims and especially the recently ordained priests of the German College with their guests. May the Lord give you courage and strength in your ministry! Let us take the new saints as models for our life. Among them there is a saint who is dearly loved in Germany, Father Damian, who lived among the lepers of on the Hawaiian island of Molokai and died of having contracted the disease in the end. Let us invoke the intercession of the holy Bishop Zygmunt Szczęsny Felińsk, of the holy religious Francisco Coll y Guitart, Rafael Arnáiz Barón and Marie de la Croix Jugan, that God may give us today as well many religious vocations. May the Lord accompany all of you with his grace.

[In Spanish:]

I greet the Spanish-speaking pilgrims with affection, in particular those who participated in this joyous ceremony of canonization, especially the lord cardinals, the archbishops and bishops who have arrived with them from Spain, a land so bountiful with the fruits of sanctity. The Dominican, St. Francisco Coll, with his priestly and missionary dedicaton, and the Trappist, St. Rafael Arnáiz Barón, with his entirely contemplative soul, both fervently devoted to the Virgin Mary, honor to the best religious tradition and the deeply Christian roots of your people. May the example and the intercession of these new saints reinvigorate in everyone, and especially in the Dominican Sisters of the of the Annunciation, in the Order of Preachers and in the Trappist monks, the commitment to follow Christ in a generous and disinterested way, according to their particular vocation, witnessing to his Gospel in modern society. I also greet the groups from Colombia and from the other Latin American countries.

[In Flemish:]

I greet the Flemish-speaking pilgrims, who have come to Rome to join in the thanksgiving of the Church for the canonization of Father Damian. Consecrated to the Heart of Jesus and Mary, this holy priest was led by God to let a total “yes” bloom in his vocation. May the intercession of Our Lady and the Apostle of the Lepers free the world from leprosy, make us open to the love of God and grant us enthusiasm and joy in the service of our brothers and sisters. With my apostolic benediction.

[In Polish:]

I cordially greet the faithful who have come from Poland, with the cardinals, archbishops and bishops. I greet all the Polish who, celebrating the traditional Day of the Pope, can rejoice in the gift of a new saint: Zygmunt Szczęsny Feliński. I entrust the Church in Poland and the whole nation to his protection. May God bless you!

[In Italian:]

Dear brothers and sisters, the Virgin Mary is the star that guides every journey of sanctity. Her “fiat” is the perfect model of adhesion to the divine will and her “magnificat” expresses the Church’s song of exultation. Already on this earth the Church rejoices in God’s mighty deeds and in heaven praises his glory eternally. We turn to the Mother of Christ with filial confidence, asking, through her intercession and that of the newly canonized saints, for peace and salvation.

[Translation by Joseph G. Trabbic]
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