Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Four Canonizations

And prayer requests for the persecuted Christians in India, Iraq and the Congo.
Pope Benedict XVI presided over the canonization of four saints today in St. Peter's Square. One of them was the first Indian woman to be canonized, Sr. Alfonsa of the Immaculate Conception (Anna Muttathupadathu) (1910-1946), of the Congregation of Claretian Franciscans. He said that she spoke of her cross as a means of preparing for the heavenly banquet, as she said "I consider a day without suffering as a day lost." He also spoke about the lives of the other three saints canonized today. In his homily, the Pope also spoke of the "singular beauty" of these saints, inviting people to imitate them. After the canonization, the Holy Father greeted pilgrims and spoke about the religious persecution in India, Iraq and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He asked people to pray for them and assured them of his own prayers. Mentioning St. Alfonsa again, he said that she reminds us that in deep suffering, "God always provides the strength we need to overcome every trial."

A full translation of the homily can be found at Papa Ratzinger Forum. Catholic News Agency has one article about the canonization and another about his words after the canonization. Asia News also has an article.

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