Pope creates three new saints

Last Updated: Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 22:15

Vatican City: Pope Benedict XVI created three
new saints of the Catholic Church on Sunday in recognition of
their missionary and social work with a canonisation mass in
St Peter`s Square.

"Christians can show the world God`s love by loving their
neighbour. Today, the Church shows its members three new
saints who let themselves be transformed by divine charity,"
the pope said before throngs of pilgrims filling the
sun-drenched square.

All three founded religious orders -- two Italians, Guido
Maria Conforti (1865-1931) and Luigi Guanella (1842-1915), and
a Spaniard, Bonifacia Rodriguez Castro (1837-1905).

Conforti was a bishop who founded the Society of San
Francesco Saverio for Foreign Missions -- a congregation of
missionaries known as Saveriani.

"With all his strength he dedicated himself to the good of
those souls in his care, especially those who had distanced
themselves from the path of the Lord," the pontiff said of
Conforti, as Saveriani members looked on.

The mass was slightly disrupted when a man climbed onto a
roofed area overlooking the square and set fire to a green
Bible with a cigarette lighter and waved the burning pages
aloft.

Security forces moved the pilgrims sitting below and
persuaded the man to climb down after about half an hour.

The Vatican said he was of Romanian origin and was being
questioned by police.

During the mass, as each new saint`s history was read out,
members of their orders prayed and a choir sang on the steps
of St Peter`s Basilica under huge portraits of Conforti,
Guanella and Castro draped on the facade.

Guanella worked with mentally handicapped people and
abandoned children and founded an organisation called the
Servants of Charity.

He "brought comfort and relief to the poorest and the
weakest," and shone with "God`s presence and charity, the God
who defended the stranger, the widow, the orphan, the poor
man," Benedict said.

Rodriguez Castro, the daughter of a tailor, was also
active in social causes and helped create jobs for
marginalised women. She founded the Congregation of Servants
of Saint Joseph.

"From a young age Saint Bonifacia knew how to honour Jesus
Christ in her daily work.... The Servants of Saint Joseph were
born out of humility and the simplicity of the Gospel," the
pontiff said.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 22:15

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