Pope Francis names 10 new saints, including priest-journalist killed by Nazis and Indian convert

Pope Francis names 10 new saints, including priest-journalist killed by Nazis and Indian convert

Pope Francis told a crowd of more than 50,000 gathered in St. Peter’s Square Sunday that the 10 Roman Catholics newly canonized as saints can teach believers about humility, service and the way of peacemaking.

“While sadly in the world distances grow, and tensions and wars increase, may the new saints inspire solutions of togetherness and ways of dialogue, especially in the hearts and minds of those who hold positions of great responsibility and are called upon to be agents of peace, not war,” the 85-year-old pontiff said, in an oblique reference to the 10-week-old Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Francis specifically noted the presence of Sergio Mattarella, Italy’s president, in his comments. Also in attendance were Dutch foreign minister Wopke Hoekstra; Gérald Darmanin, France’s interior minister; and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, India’s minister of minority affairs.

It’s been more than two years since the Vatican held a public canonization ceremony, the Associated Press reported.

Among those honored were Dutch priest and journalist Titus Brandsma; Indian convert and martyr Lazarus, also known as Devasahayam; and 16th-century French priest César de Bus, who founded two Catholic religious orders.

Brandsma was noted for his resistance to World War II German demands that Catholic media in the Netherlands publish Nazi documents in their publications. He was arrested in January of 1942 and died six months later at the Dachau concentration camp.

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Also designated as saints on Sunday were three other men and four women: Italian priests Luigi Maria Palazzolo and Giustino Maria Russolillo; French priest and explorer Charles de Foucauld; French nun Marie Rivier; and Italian nuns Maria Francesca di Gesù Rubatto; Maria di Gesù Santocanale; and Domenica Mantovani.

In his homily during the canonization Mass, Francis encouraged his hearers to pursue holiness not as “an unattainable goal,” but rather as something that can be found “in the trials of real life.”

The pope, who was treated for severe knee pain in recent weeks, arrived at the outdoor altar in a car and used a wheelchair for part of the ceremony, reports indicate. 

He stood to greet priests and was standing during a slow motorcade after the service to greet followers and bless babies, the official Vatican News Agency reported.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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