Sunday, May 12, 2013

From Yahoo News: Pope Francis Names 800 New Saints In One Go

Pope Francis Names 800 New Saints In One Go - Yahoo! News: Pope Francis's first canonization ceremony was a record-breaking one. The new pontiff named over 800 new saints on Sunday. That's already almost double the number of saints declared by Pope John Paul II, whose 480-odd canonizations were, at the time, more than those of all of his predecessors since 1588, combined. But the latest canonization bonanza is notable for another reason: most of the 800 new saints are 15th-century martyrs, who were approved as a group for sainthood by Francis's predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. Given Pope Francis's previous public commitment to improving the Catholic church's relationship with Muslim communities worldwide, Benedict XVI's unfinished business put the new pontiff in a delicate position. The 813 "Martyrs of Otranto" were beheaded by Ottoman soldiers for refusing to convert to Islam.

Two new female saints:
The pope also canonized two women from Latin America, which seems to be a more fitting way for the first pope from the continent to kick off his tenure. Those two new saints are Laura of St. Catherine of Siena Montoya y Upegui (also the first saint from Columbia) and Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala of Mexico.

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