Friday, January 20, 2012

Saints and Blesseds

From time to time, I will share a brief biography of some of the new Saints and Blesseds recently added to the liturgical calendar of the Catholic church. Pope John Paul II had changed the requirement for beatification and canonization to only one miracle for each step, and in his 27-year pontificate he beatified 563 holy men and women, and canonized 482 new Saints. Some of these were members of groups of martyrs. Pope Benedict XVI has so far canonized 14 Saints, including the first Maltese saint, St George Preca. Among the popular names canonized by the Great John Paul were St Maximilian Kolbe, St Faustina Kowalska, St Katharine Drexel, the 103 Korean Martyrs, St Gianna Beretta Molla, St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, St Josephine Bakhita, St Jose Maria Escriva, St Pio of Pietralcina and St Juan Diego. All of these new saints have a liturgical feast day in the liturgical calendar, and the majority of them were included in the new Roman Missal.

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