.- On October 15 Pope Benedict XVI will preside over the ceremony of canonization for Mexican Bishop Rafael Guizar y Valencia, Italian priest Father Filippo Smaldone, who worked with the mute, Sister Rosa Venerini, who founded the first all-girls public school in Italy, and Sister Theodore Guérin of France, who worked in the United States.
Bishop Guizar y Valencia was born on April 26, 1878 in Cotija, a small town in western Mexico. He was the fourth of eleven children. His brother eventually became Archbishop of Chihuahua and his sisters Maria and Maria de Jesus entered religious life.
Rafael was ordained a priest on June 1, 1903, at the age of 23, and five days later he celebrated his first Mass on the feast of Corpus Christi. He preached all over Mexico and in Guatemala, Colombia, Cuba and the southern United States. He was eventually named Bishop of Veracruz.
He died on June 6, 1938 in Mexico, and in 1995 he was beatified by Pope John Paul II.
Father Filippo Smaldone (1848-1923), founder of the Congregation of the Salesian Sisters of the Sacred Hearts, is known as the apostle of the deaf and mute. He founded an institute for handicapped in Lecce, Italy, in 1885. He was a confessor and spiritual director for many religious and was beatified in 1996.
Sister Rosa Venerini (1656-1728) taught catechism to children and adults and founded the first all-girls school in Italy. In May of 1952, she was beatified by Pope Pius XII.
Sister Theodore Guérin (1798-1856), born in France, founded the Congregation of the Sisters of Providence. In Terre Haute, Indiana, she established the Academy of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, the first Catholic women's liberal-arts college in the United States.
The Holy See also announced that Pope Benedict XVI has approved decrees of beatification for a German priest and two religious sisters from Spain and Italy. The three will be beatified during the month of October.
On October 8, Sister Maria Teresa de Jesus, foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Carmel, will be beatified at the Roman amphitheater in Fiesole, Italy.
On Sunday, October 22, Sister Margarita Maria Lopez de Maturana will be beatified at the Cathedral of Bilbao in Spain. She converted the Mercederian monastery of Vera Cruz in Berriz, built in the 16th century, into a Missionary Institute.
On Sunday, October 29, Father Paul Josef Nardini (1821-1862) will be beatified at the Cathedral of Speyer in Germany. The servant of God founded the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of the Holy Family.