VATICAN CITY, APRIL 28, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II described the six people he beatified over the weekend as “living gospels.”
Addressing some 50,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, the Pope explained that “when Christians become ‘living gospels,’ they are transformed into eloquent signs of the Lord’s mercy, and their witness touches persons’ hearts more easily.”
“As docile instruments in the hands of divine Providence, they have a profound effect on history,” he said. “This is the case of the six new blessed, who come from dear Italy, a fruitful land of saints.”
The new blessed are:
— Giacomo Alberione (1884-1971), regarded as one of the most outstanding apostles of the 20th century in proclaiming the love of God through the media. He founded the St. Paul Pious Society, the first of 10 branches of the Pauline Family, which today heads some of the largest-circulation Catholic media in the world.
— Marco d’Aviano (1631-1699), priest of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchins, known as “the spiritual doctor of Europe.” Christian leaders of Europe asked advice of this Venetian religious, a witness of the struggle between the Republic of Venice and the Ottoman Empire.
— Maria Cristina Brando (1856-1906), founder of the Congregation of the Sisters, Expiatory Victims of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, who ever since she was a child repeated: “I must be a saint; I want to be a saint.”
— Eugenia Ravasco (1845-1900), founder of the Congregation of Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, who, in the spirit of Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical “Rerum Novarum,” spent her life in the service of young women workers.
— Maria Domenica Mantovani (1862-1934), co-founder of the Institute of the Little Sisters of the Holy Family, together with Blessed Giuseppe Nascimbeni. As the Pope pointed out, she was inspired by the Holy Family to give herself “totally to all,” always attentive to the needs of ‘poor people.'”
— Giulia Salzano (1846-1929), founder of the Congregation of the Catechetical Sisters of the Sacred Heart, who said: “While I live, I will give catechesis.”
John Paul II has proclaimed 1,316 blessed, including the six above, and 465 saints. He is scheduled to canonize five saints next Sunday in Madrid.