Sunday, October 22, 2006

A new saint for the U.S. ... and for the world!

From Zenit newservice:

Date: 2006-10-15
Benedict XVI Canonizes 4 Saints
Says They Invested in Heaven

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 15, 2006 ( Saints gain heaven by trusting in the word of God, said Benedict XVI on proclaiming the sanctity of a bishop, a priest and two women religious. "Their names will be remembered forever," he said today at the canonization Mass of the four saints in St. Peter's Square.

Among those canonized is St. Rafael Guízar Valencia (1878-1938), a bishop of Veracruz, Mexico, who is the first bishop-saint born in Latin America.

St. Teodora Guérin (1798-1856) of France, born Anne-Thérèse, is Indiana's first saint. Sent by the Congregation of the Sisters of Providence to Indiana in 1839, the religious founded St. Mary-of-the-Woods College in Indiana in the United States.

St. Filippo Smaldone (1848-1923) of Italy was a diocesan priest and founder of the Congregation of the Salesian Sisters of the Sacred Heart. He is known as the apostle of those who cannot hear or speak.

St. Rosa Venerini (1656-1728) of Italy, founded the Congregation of Religious Teachers Venerini and the first public school for girls in Italy.

The four new saints left a lesson, Benedict XVI said during the homily of the canonization Mass: "If man puts his trust in riches in this world he does not attain the full meaning of life or authentic joy." "On the contrary, if, trusting in the word of God, he denies himself and his properties for the kingdom of Heaven, he seems to lose much, but in reality gains everything," the Pope said.

"The saint is precisely that man or woman who, responding with joy and generosity to Christ's call, leaves everything to follow him," the Holy Father said. The Pontiff added: "Earthly riches occupy and preoccupy the mind and heart. "Jesus does not say that they are evil, but that they separate us from God if they are not 'invested' so to speak, in the kingdom of heaven, if they are not spent for those who are in poverty."

For more on the life of this holy woman of God St. Theodora Guerin, check out the following links:

Get the story from Catholic News Service!

Archdiocese of Indianapolis (where the saint's religious community resides)

Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods

Try having your students (especially Confirmation candidates) do some research on the lives of these new saints.

[PS: be careful in what you read (as always). I have already come across some rather bizarre spins on the life of St. Theodore. Apparently she had some run-ins with her local bishop in Indiana. Some Catholic writers who are disenchanted with Catholic Church teaching and the hierarchy have argued that St. Theodore is an example of how today's heretic can be recognized as tomorrow's saint. I do not think that such an idea would do justice to St. Theodore Guerin's devotion to the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty, and obedience.]

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