Vatican reconfirms 5 canonizations and 26 blesseds to be declared in October: Pope Benedict following John Paul’s lead

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The Vatican reconfirmed today that Pope Benedict XVI plans to canonize five blesseds and declare 26 beatifications later this month. Many see the act as a sign that the Pope shows no desire to slow down the canonization momentum started by Pope John Paul II, who canonized more saints than any pope in history.

On October 23, the same day as the closing of the worldwide Eucharistic Synod, the Pope will canonize: Blesseds Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga, a Jesuit priest who died in 1952; Archbishop Jozef Bilczewski of Lviv of the Latins, who died in 1923; Sygmund Gorazdowski, a priest, and founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, who died in 1920; Gaetano Catanoso, a priest, and founder of the Congregation of the Veronica Sisters of the Holy Countenance, who died in 1963; and Felice da Nicosia, of the Friars Minor Capuchin. He died in 1787.

Pope Benedict broke with recent tradition earlier this year, returning to an older Church practice in which the Pope does not preside over beatification ceremonies himself.

He will continue this practice, which hasn’t been active since 1971, with the October 9th beatification of Servant of God Bishop Clemens August von Galen of Munster, Germany, a cardinal of Holy Roman Church, who died in 1946. The ceremony will take place at St. Peter’s Basilica.

On October 29th in the Basilica, the following Servants of God will be beatified: Jose Tapies Sirvant and six companions, priests, martyrs, who died in 1936 and Maria de los Angeles Ginard Martí, a professed religious of the Sisters Guardians of the Eucharistic Cult and a martyr who died in 1936.

On November 6th, in Vicenza, Italy, the beatification of Servant of God Eurosia Fabris, mother, of the Third Order of St. Francis who died in 1932 will take place.

On November 13th in St. Peter’s, three more Servants of God will be beatified. They include: Charles de Foucauld, a priest who died in 1916; Maria Pia Mastena, foundress of the Institute of Sisters of the Holy Countenance who died in 1951; and Maria Crocifissa Curcio, founder of the Carmelite Missionary Sisters of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus who died in 1957.

In Guadalajara, Mexico, on November 20, 13 Mexican martyrs will be beatified. They include: Servants of God Jose Trinidad Rangel--a priest; Andres Sola Molist, a priest of the Congregation of Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and Leonardo Pérez, a layman, all of whom died in 1927.

Likewise, Dario Acosta Zurita, a priest who was martyred 1931; Anacleto Gonzalez Flores and seven companions--all martyrs; as well as Jose Sanchez del Rio--lay people who all lost their lives between 1927 and 1928 will be beatified in the ceremony.

According to Church teaching, the Pope cannot “make” someone a saint. Rather, the beatification and canonization process is simply a declaration that the person or persons in question were particularly holy, and the faithful may have confidence that they are in heaven.

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