This morning in St. Peter’s Square the Pope received the participants in yesterday’s canonization of five of the six new saints: Hannibal Maria Di Francia, Josep Manyanet y Vives, Nimatullah Kassab Al-Hardini, Paola Elisabetta Cerioli and Gianna Beretta Molla.
The Pope offered some brief reflections on the devotion that the new saints had to Our Lady. “St. Hannibal Maria Di Francia,” he said, “was honored to have the name of Our Lady, whom he called ‘My mother,’ from his baptism. He nourished a tender and ardent devotion to her and he invoked her as Mother of the Church and Mother of vocations.”
St. Josep Manyanet “was an instrument chosen to promote the good of the family as well as the education of children and young people,” he said.
“Praying the rosary set the pace of St. Nimatullah Al-Hardini’s days from childhood. Throughout his life he found in the Mother of God, the Immaculate Conception, the model of fidelity to Christ to whom he aspired,” said the Holy Father.
In reference to St. Paola Elisabetta Cerioli, wife and mother, John Paul II emphasized that “in the school of Mary she knew how to transform natural love into supernatural love, allowing God to enlarge her motherly heart.”
St. Gianna Beretta Molla, said the Pope “nourished a deep devotion to Our Lady. References to the Virgin were frequent in her letters to her husband – who is still alive - before marriage and in the subsequent years of her life, especially when she underwent surgery to remove a tumor, without endangering the life that she carried in her womb.”