Pope Francis inscribed among the saints Thursday three blesseds who were from Europe but were called to the New World by their missionary vocations.
At an April 3 audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Pope Francis extended the liturgical cult of three blesseds to the universal Church, a process known as “equivalent canonization.”
The three are St. Francois de Laval de Montmorency, the first bishop of Quebec; St. Jose de Anchieta, “the apostle of Brazil”; and St. Marie of the Incarnation, founder of Quebec's Ursuline convent.
St. Jose de Anchieta founded several Brazilian cities, including Sao Paulo. He was born in Spain's Canary Islands in 1534 and studied at the Jesuit College at Coimbra in Portugal. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1550 and arrived in Brazil three years later.
He built hospitals and educational institutions, with a primary focus on helping to teach and defend indigenous Brazilians, and served as the Jesuit superior in Brazil for 10 years. He died June 9, 1597.
St. Francois de Laval was born in France in 1623, and became a missionary to Canada. He was consecrated a bishop in 1658, and arrived in what was then called New France the next year, as its first bishop.
He traveled across his vast territory on foot, by snowshoe and by canoe, impressing many with his great devotion. He founded Quebec’s seminary, and spent two decades combating the liquor trade between French settlers and Native Americans.
He died in 1708 at the age of 85, and his relics are at the funeral chapel of the Basilica Cathedral of Notre Dame de Quebec.
St. Marie of the Incarnation was born in Tours in 1599. She was widowed at the age of 32 with a 13-year-old son. After her husband’s death, she became a nun. Moving to New France in 1639, she became the first Mother Superior of the Ursuline convent there. She died in Quebec in 1672.
The three new saints had been beatified by John Paul II in 1980.
At the April 3 audience, Pope Francis also recognized miracle worked through the intercession of Servant of God Giovanni Antonio Farina; Bl. Kuriacose Elias Chavara; Bl. Nicola da Longobardi; Bl. Euphrasia of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; and Servant of God Luigi della Consolata.
He recognized the herioc virtues of the following Servants of God: Francisco Simon Rodenas; Adolfo Barberis; Marie-Clement; Sebastian Elorza Arizmendi; Maria Teresa of the Eucharistic Jesus; Clara de la Concepcion; Maria Magdalena; and Luigi Rocchi.