Pope authorises four new sainthoods

4th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

VATICAN CITY, June 4, 2007 (AFP) - Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday authorised new sainthoods for a French nun and three priests from Malta, the Netherlands and Poland at a rainy ceremony in St. Peter's Square.

VATICAN CITY, June 4, 2007 (AFP) - Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday authorised new sainthoods for a French nun and three priests from Malta, the Netherlands and Poland at a rainy ceremony in St. Peter's Square.

The pope canonised Frenchwoman Marie-Eugenie Milleret, who founded the  Religious of the Assumption order in 1838, which is today present in 34 countries.

She was beatified by former pope Paul VI on February 9, 1975 in Rome.

Beatification, officially the Catholic Church's recognition that a dead person has entered heaven and can intercede on behalf of those who pray in their name, is the first step towards declaring sainthood.

Pope Benedict XVI said she had "perceived the importance of transmitting to the young generations, especially young women, an intellectual, moral and spiritual training which turned them into adults capable of taking charge of their lives, their families and knowing how to contribute to the church and society."

She is credited with the miracle of curing a 12-year-old Philippine girl adopted by a French couple. The girl, Risa Bondoc, is believed to have been cured of serious birth disorders after lying on Milleret's tomb.

Maltese priest Georges Preca, who lived from 1880 to 1962, became the first saint from the island nation. Breca founded the Society of Christian Doctrine order and translated several religious texts into the local language.

"This was a priest who dedicated himself entirely to evangelisation with his writings, his spiritual path and above all with the example of his own life," the pope said.

Simon de Lipnica, a 15th-century Polish Franciscan who gave his life for those suffering from the plague, was also proclaimed a saint.

When Krakow was ravaged by a plague epidemic between 1482 and 1483, he tended to the sick and administered the sacraments, until he too was infected and died.

The fourth, Dutch priest Charles de Saint-Andrew (1821-1893) was highly admired, the pope said, adding that "people flocked in droves to listen to his wise counsel."

The ceremony was attended by Irish President Mary McAleese, Maltese President Edward Fenech Adami, Polish President Lech Kaczynski and Philippines President Gloria Arroyo. France was represented by Culture Minister Christine Albanel and other officials.

Besides the pope, the ceremony was also celebrated by Krakow's archbishop, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, and Monsignor Andre Vingt-Trois, archibishop of Paris.

Sunday's canonisation ceremony was the pope's fourth since becoming pontiff. He had previously proclaimed 10 other new saints.

Last week, he signed decrees authorising sainthoods for an Indian and Ecuadoran woman.


Copyright AFP

SUbject: French news

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