ROME, OCT. 22, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Seven tapestries hang from the facade of Saint Peter's Basilica, each bearing the image of one of the saints canonized yesterday by Pope Benedict XVI.
Included among the seven is St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American to be canonized by the Church. She was joined by German-American St. Marianne Cope, a religious of Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis in Syracuse. Mother Marianne is the second declared saint to have served as a missionary to the Hawaiian leper colonies, the first being Saint Damian of Molokai, canonized on October 2009.
Two martyrs were also canonized in yesterday's celebrations: St. Pedro Calungsod, a young Filipino catechist, and St. Jacques Berthieu, a priest of the society of Jesus.
The other newly canonized saints include St. Giovanni Battista Piamarta, Italian priest and founder of the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth and of the Congregation of the Humble Sister Servants of the Lord; St. Maria del Carmen, Spanish foundress of the Conceptionist Missionary Sisters of Teaching; and St. Anna Schaeffer, a German laywoman.
During his homily for the Canonization Mass, the Holy Father drew attention to the "happy coincidence" between the current assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization and World Mission Sunday. Addressing the faithful on the readings during Sunday's Mass, Pope Benedict said they showed us "how to be evangelizers, called to bear witness and to proclaim the Christian message, configuring ourselves to Christ and following His same way of life. This is true both for the 'missio ad Gentes' and for the New Evangelization in places with ancient Christian roots.
"The Son of Man came to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many," he continued. "These words were the existential blueprint of the seven blessed men and women that the Church solemnly enrolls this morning in the glorious ranks of the saints.They are sons and daughters of the Church who chose a life of service following the Lord. Holiness always rises up in the Church from the well-spring of the mystery of redemption." This canonization, the Pope explained, "is an eloquent confirmation of this mysterious salvific truth".
Concluding his homily, Pope Benedict XVI said that while the saints varied in origin, language and nationality, they were "united among themselves and with the whole People of God in the mystery of salvation of Christ the Redeemer."
"May the witness of [...]their lives generously spent for love of Christ, speak today to the whole Church, and may their intercession strengthen and sustain her in her mission to proclaim the Gospel to the whole world."
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On ZENIT's web page:
For the full text of the Holy Father's homily, go to: http://www.zenit.org/article-35779?l=english