Vatican City, Jun 5, 2016 / 03:30 am
St. Stanislaus of Jesus and Mary and St. Maria Elizabeth Hesselblad are key examples of how to unite oneself to Jesus’ Passion and death, as well as the power of his resurrection, Pope Francis said Sunday, after canonizing the two.
“In the Passion of Christ, we find God’s response to the desperate and at times indignant cry that the experience of pain and death evokes in us,” the Pope said June 5.
Jesus, he said, tells us that “we cannot flee from the Cross, but must remain at its foot, as Our Lady did. In suffering with Jesus, she received the grace of hoping against all hope.”
“This was the experience of Stanislaus of Jesus and Mary, and Maria Elizabeth Hesselblad, who today are proclaimed saints. They remained deeply united to the passion of Jesus, and in them the power of his resurrection was revealed.”
Pope Francis spoke to the thousands of pilgrims gathered in a sunny St. Peter’s Square for the canonization of St. Stanislaus of Jesus and Mary and St. Maria Elizabeth Hesselblad, the first to be proclaimed Saints during the Jubilee of Mercy.
The dates of their canonization were announced March 15 alongside that of Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who will be canonized Sept. 4, and Bl. Jose Sanchez del Rio, who will be canonized Oct. 16 alongside Argentine Bl. Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero.
Born in the small village of Faglavik, in Sweden’s western coast province of Alvsborg June 4, 1870, St. Maria Elisabeth was a nurse and a Lutheran convert to Catholicism. After her conversion, she went on to found a new order of Bridgettines, called the Most Holy Savior of Saint Bridget. She died in Rome April 24, 1957, and was beatified April 9, 2000, by St. John Paul II.
Maria Pilar, a Bridgettine nun from Spain, told CNA June 5 that the canonization of their foundress is not only a recognition of her sanctity, but also gives publicity to “the example of a person who lived for God and sought the truth since she was a child – she was Lutheran and sought the truth as a young girl.”
St. Maria Elizabeth “was called to offer a lot in the ecumenism of the Church, so that all religions would be one in Christ, not just in Spain,” she said, and prayed on behalf of her order that the Church would be “one, holy, Catholic and apostolic.”