.- Pope Benedict XVI announced today that he will canonize seven new saints, including two related to the U.S., this coming October.
The news that the Church will have seven new saints was officially made public Feb. 18 at St. Peter’s Basilica, following a ceremony in which Pope Benedict created 22 new cardinals.
“I think it’s a great day, and to see Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, what a joy for our country and what a great model she is for our people,” Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, D.C. remarked to CNA after the ceremony.
“And then to have two new cardinals as well among the College of Cardinals – it’s a very happy day for the Church in the United States,” he added.
The list of the seven people who will be declared saints ranges from a Filipino layman to European founders of religious orders to the first Native American.
Two of the seven holy men and women are associated with the U.S.
Blessed Marianne Cope, was a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Syracuse, N.Y., and spent many years caring for the lepers on the island of Molokai, Hawaii, while Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, was a 17th-century Mohawk girl who converted to Catholicism and died at the age of 24.
Their canonization ceremony will take place on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012.
Cardinal Edward Egan, the Emeritus Archbishop of New York, could not keep a smile off his face as he stood in the sun outside of St. Peter’s after the consistory. He eagerly pointed out that “out of the seven saints, two are New Yorkers.”
“Someone asked me last night whether New York was a secular city? I said it was the most religious city in the world, and if you have any doubt, two out of seven isn’t bad for any state!” he told CNA.