‘Apostle of the Lepers,’ Spanish mystic among 10 to be canonized
Bl. Damian / Bl. Rafael
Bl. Damian / Bl. Rafael

.- Today the Vatican announced that it will recognize 10 blesseds as saints on February 21 in a ceremony at the Vatican. Among the soon-to-be canonized is Bl. Damian de Veuster, a Belgian missionary who spent much of his life in Hawaii caring for lepers.

The ceremony, which is called a consistory, will take place in the Vatican’s Clementine Hall at 11:00 a.m. on February 21 and will officially recognize as saints 10 blesseds who hail from Portugal to Italy.

In addition to Bl. Damian, Bl. Rafael Arnáiz Barón, is unique because he died at the young age of 27 of a diabetic coma. He was a member of the Cistercian’s of the Strict Observance and is considered on the greatest mystics of the 20th century.

When the Catholic Church canonizes a person, it is a statement by the Church that she believes the person in question lived a saintly life worthy of imitation and that the sainted person is in Heaven.

A full list of the blesseds who will be canonized follows.

- Blessed Zygmunt Szczesny Felinski, Polish former archbishop of Warsaw and founder of the Congregation of Franciscan Sisters of the Family of Mary.

- Blessed Arcangelo Tadini, Italian diocesan priest and founder of the Congregation of Worker Sisters of the Holy House of Nazareth.

- Blessed Francesc Coll y Guitart, Spanish professed priest of the Order of Friars Preachers and founder of the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

- Blessed Jozef Damian de Veuster, Belgian professed priest of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and of the Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar (PICPUS).

- Blessed Bernardo Tolomei, Italian founder of the Olivetan Benedictine Congregation.

- Blessed Rafael Arnaiz Baron, Spanish oblate friar of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance.

- Blessed Nuno di Santa Maria Alvares Pereira, Portuguese religious of the Order of Friars of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel.

- Blessed Gertrude Comensoli (nee Caterina), Italian virgin and foundress of the Institute of Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.

- Blessed Mary of the Cross Jugan (nee Jeanne), French virgin and foundress of the Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Poor.

- Blessed Caterina Volpicelli, Italian virgin and foundress of the Institute of Handmaidens of the Sacred Heart. 

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