VATICAN CITY, JUNE 3, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI canonized three priests and one woman religious, and urged the faithful to make their lives, like the saints did, “a song of praise” to the Trinity.
The persistent rain that fell this morning in Rome did not discourage the tens of thousands who filled St. Peter’s Square for the canonization of Father George Preca, Father Szymon of Lipnica, Father Charles of St. Andrew and Mother Marie-Eugénie of Jesus.
Benedict XVI said in his homily that the glory of God “is reflected in the life of the saints.”
The Pope urged the faithful to turn their gaze “toward the ‘opened heavens’ to enter with the eyes of faith into the depths of the mystery of God, one in substance and three in persons: Father and Son and Holy Spirit.”
The Holy Father said that “God’s wisdom is manifest in the cosmos, in variety and beauty in its elements but its masterpieces are the saints.”
Citing Scripture, the Pontiff said: “Wisdom is an aura of the might of God and a pure effusion of the glory of the Almighty; therefore nothing that is sullied enters into her.
“For she is the refulgence of eternal light, the spotless mirror of the power of God, the image of his goodness. And she, who is one, can do all things, and renews everything while herself perduring; and passing into holy souls from age to age, she produces friends of God and prophets.”
Benedict XVI said that in a similar way God’s love is poured into the hearts of the saints — “that is, the baptized” — through the Holy Spirit. He said that “it is through Christ that the gift of the Spirit passes.”
“Through Christ,” he continued, “the Spirit of God comes to us as principle of new, ‘holy’ life. The Spirit puts the love of God in the heart of believers in the concrete form it had in the man Jesus of Nazareth.
“In the same perspective, of God’s wisdom incarnate in Christ and communicated by the Holy Spirit, the Gospel suggested to us that God the Father continues to manifest his plan of love through the saints.”
The Holy Father continued: “Each individual saint participates in the riches of Christ taken from the Father and communicated at the right time.
“It is always Jesus’ own holiness, it is always him, the ‘holy one,’ whom the Spirit forms in ‘holy souls,’ making them into friends of Jesus and witnesses of his holiness.”
The Pope added, “Let us be drawn by their examples, guided by their teachings, so that our entire existence becomes, like theirs, a song of praise to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity.”
Representatives of each of the native countries of the four saints filled the square.
Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow, concelebrated the Mass to canonize Father Szymon of Lipnica (1439-1482), a Polish priest of the Order of Friars Minor. President Lech Kaczynski of Poland was also present.
Maltese President Edward Fenech-Adami, and some 5,000 pilgrims from Malta, attended the canonization of Father Preca (1880-1962), founder of the Societas Doctrinae Christianae. Retired Archbishop Joseph Mercieca of Malta and Archbishop Paul Cremona of Malta concelebrated the Mass.
Passionist Father Charles of St. Andrew, born Johannes Andreas Houben, (1821-1893), is of Dutch origin, but he worked mainly in Ireland.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin concelebrated the canonization Mass in support of Father Charles, and the president of Ireland, Mary McAleese, also attended.
Archbishop André Armand Vingt-Trois of Paris was present for the canonization of Sister Marie-Eugénie of Jésus Milleret, born Anne-Eugénie Milleret de Brou, (1817-1898). The French woman religious is the founder of the Institute of Sisters of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin.
The president of the Philippines, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, also attended the Mass, as did the president of the episcopal conference of the Philippines and numerous pilgrims from that country.