Archive of June 3, 2007

Pope Canonizes first saint from Malta and three others

Rome, Italy, Jun 3, 2007 (CNA) - On Holy Trinity Sunday, thousands of pilgrims and faithful came to St. Peter's Square for the canonization of four new Saints: Giorgio Preca, Szumon z Lipnicy, Karel van Sint Andries Houben and Marie Eugenie de Jesus Milleret.
The Pope addressed the faithful by first speaking about Trinity Sunday and how the Book of Wisdom invites Christians "to consider the many faceted and unceasing manifestations of holiness present in the people of God throughout the centuries." According to Benedict, "the Wisdom of God is manifested in the cosmos, in the variety and beauty of its elements, but its masterpieces are the saints."
In the second reading for Trinity Sunday, "we find a similar image: the love of God "poured into the hearts" of the saints . . . "through the Holy Spirit." The same Spirit, then "places the love of God in the hearts of the faithful. When God enters into our hearts like this, we see St. Paul’s teaching, "Christ in you, the hope of glory" come alive (Colossians).  Additionally, the problems that we encounter and the "tribulations (that we endure) are not in contrast to this hope, but help to realize it through "patience" and "proven virtue:" it is the way of Jesus, the Way of the Cross."

Turning his attention to holiness, the Holy Father noted that "every single Saint participates in the richness of Christ, taken from the Father, and communicated at the proper time." Moreover, Benedict emphasized that holiness is always from the same source, "it is always the same sanctity of Jesus, always Him, the "Holy One" that the Holy Spirit forms in "holy souls," making friends of Christ and witnesses to His Holiness."

The Pope then focused on the four saints that were canonized, speaking in the language the saint used during his ministry. St. Giorgio Preca, the first native Maltese Saint, "was a priest who was entirely dedicated to evangelization in his preaching, writing, spiritual guidance, administration of the Sacraments and above all by the example of his life."

Symon z Lipnicy, a Polish Franciscan, although he lived "in a long-ago age, is given today to the Church as a model Christian who, animated by the spirit of the Gospel, was ready to dedicate his life for his brothers."

St. Karel, who worked in England and Ireland, shows us the gifts of, "his wise counsel, his compassionate care and his healing touch." The Pope added that St. Karel "drank deeply from the rivers of living water that poured forth from the side of the Pierced One. One particular note that Benedict chose to highlight was St. Karel’s, “witness in the power of the Spirit… to the Father's love."

The last saint, Marie-Eugenie, "reminds all of us about the importance of the Eucharist in the Christian life and the development of the faith." Above all, the Pope noted that "she perceived the importance of transmitting an intellectual, moral and spiritual formation to the youth, particularly young girls."

Benedict concluded by asking everyone to "give thanks to God for the marvels He has wrought in His saints, who are resplendent in His glory." He then asked "Mary, Queen of the Saints" and "these three new 'big brothers and a sister'" to pray so that the lives of all those present may become "a song of praise and glory to the Holy Trinity."

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