Fr. Damian and four others to be canonized Oct. 11


In less than two weeks, Pope Benedict will canonize five blesseds, including Fr. Damien de Veuster, a well-known Belgian missionary priest who cared for lepers in Hawaii.

The canonization ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. on Sunday, October 11 in St. Peter's Square.

The level of excitement in Hawaii has been quite high in the lead-up to Fr. Damian's canonization. Eleven lepers, who see the priest as their personal saint, and a group of Boy Scouts have made the voyage to the Vatican to be present for the ceremony at which the Church proclaims him a saint.

In order for a person to be declared a saint, they must undergo a rigorous process that usually lasts for years, if not decades.

In addition to Bl. Damian, Bl. Rafael Arnáiz Barón will also be canonized. He is unique because he died at the young age of 27, after slipping into a diabetic coma. He was a member of the Cistercian’s of the Strict Observance and is considered on the greatest mystics of the 20th century.

Also to be canonized are: Zygmunt Szczesny Felinski (1822-1895), Polish former archbishop of Warsaw and founder of the Congregation of Franciscan Sisters of the Family of Mary; Francesc Coll y Guitart (1812-1875), Spanish professed priest of the Order of Friars Preachers and founder of the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Mary of the Cross Jugan (nee Jeanne) (1792-1879), French virgin and foundress of the Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Poor.

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