Vatican City, Nov 24, 2014 / 12:05 pm
God's love is the "source" and "destination" of all holiness, said Pope Francis on Nov. 24, speaking of India's newly declared saints ahead of a Mass of thanksgiving in the Vatican.
The Mass was celebrated at the high altar of Saint Peter's Basilica, and attended by pilgrims from India who have come to Rome to celebrate the canonization of Saints Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Euphrasia Eluvathingal on Nov. 23.
Greeting the congregation before the celebration, the Pope expressed his gratitude for the Church in India. He said the country's Kerala region, which is the birthplace of Saints Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Euphrasia Eluvathingal, is "fertile" with vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
The Pope reminded the pilgrims who are in Rome for the canonization that, amid the celebrations and "intense spirituality," they should also "contemplate the glorious work accomplished by the Lord through the lives and works of the new saints."
Members of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate and the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel, Saints Kuriakose and Euphrasia serve as reminders "that God's love is the source, destination, and support for all holiness," Pope Francis said. He added the this love is manifested most clearly in "love of neighbor."
He recalled how Saint Kuriakose, who founded the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate in 1836 as the first male congregation of the Syro-Malabar Rite, spent his life working for the Church according to the maxim: "sanctification of self and salvation of others."
For her part Saint Euphrasia, who served as superior general for the congregation of sisters also founded by St. Kuriakose, "lived in profound union with God," becoming an example to those around her who referred to her as "Praying mother," the Pope said.
The pontiff concluded his greeting by calling the faithful to follow the examples of Saints Kuriakose and Euphrasia, especially in their "love for the Eucharistic Jesus and the Church", thereby advancing along "the path of sanctity."
Correction: Nov. 25, 2014. The article originally said that the Pope presided over the Mass. This is incorrect. The Pope offered a greeting at the Mass, but did not preside over it.