Five new Saints canonised

On Sunday, October 11, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated a Mass in Saint Peter's Square, where he canonized five new saints. In the homily, making reference to Jesus' dialogue with the rich young man (cf. Mk 10:17-30), the Pope focused on Jesus' words: “Come and follow me!” and said: “ Jesus invites his disciples to the total giving of their lives, without calculation or personal gain, with unfailing trust in God. The saints welcome this demanding invitation and set about following the crucified and risen Christ with humble docility. Their perfection, in the logic of a faith that is humanly incomprehensible at times, consists in no longer placing themselves at the center, but choosing to go against the flow and live according to the Gospel.” This is what was done by the
five new saints.
Among the new saints was Fr Jozef Daamian De Veuster (1840-1889), of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, universally known as the Apostle of the Lepers. The Pope commented: “His missionary activity, which gave him so much joy, reaches its summit in charity. Not without fear and repugnance, he chose to go to the Island of Molokai to serve the lepers who were there, abandoned by all; thus he exposed himself to the disease they suffered from. He felt at home with them. The Servant of the Word thus became a suffering servant, a leper with lepers, during the last four years of his life. To follow Christ, Father Damien did not only leave his native country, but he also risked his health: therefore he received eternal life, as the Word of Jesus that was proclaimed in the Gospel today says (cfr. Mk 10:30)...Saint Damien leads us to choose the good battle (cf. 1 Tim 1:18), not those that lead to division, but those that gather together. He invites us to open our eyes to the lepers that disfigure the humanity of our brothers and today still calls, more than for our generosity, for the charity of our serving presence.”

Zygmunt Szczsny Feliski, Archbishop of Warsaw (1822-1895), founder of the Franciscan Sisters of the Family of Mary, “was a great witness of faith and pastoral charity in very difficult times for the nation and for the Church in Poland. He dealt zealously with the spiritual growth of the faithful, and in helping the poor and orphans.” Because of his courageous defense of the oppressed, he spent 20 years in exile without ever being able to return to his diocese.

Dominican Father Francisco Coll y Guitart (1812-1875), founder of the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was faithful to his vocation: “His passion was preaching, for the most part in an itinerant manner and following the form of 'popular missions,' with the goal of proclaiming and enlivening the Word of God...his evangelizing activity included great devotion to the sacrament of Reconciliation, an outstanding emphasis on the Eucharist and a constant insistence on prayer.”

Rafael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938), a religious brother of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance of the Rule, died at only 27 years of age as an Oblate of the Trappist Monastery of San Isidro in Duenas. Although he was from a well-to-do family, “he said yes to the proposal to follow Jesus, in an immediate and decisive, way, without limits or conditions.” Brother Rafael continues to offer us, through his example and his work, “a fascinating journey, especially for young persons who are not satisfied easily, but who aspire to the full truth, the most inexpressible joy, reached for the love of God.”   

Because of her admirable work at the service of the poor and elderly, Marie de la Croix (Jeanne) Jugan (1792-1879), foundress of the Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Poor, “is also like a beacon to guide our societies which must always rediscover the place and unique contribution of this period of life...Her charism is always relevant, while so many aged persons suffer different types of poverty and solitude, sometimes even abandoned by their families. The spirit of hospitality and fraternal love, founded on limitless trust in Providence... illuminated her whole existence.”

Source: Fides

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