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Pope at canonizations: The Church asks not to win with war, but to win with peace

2016-10-17

80,000 pilgrims filled St. Peter's Square in the canonization ceremony presided by Pope Francis that declared seven new saints. 

Among them, there was the first Argentine to achieve sainthood, José Gabriel del Rosario Brochero. Together with the "Gaucho priest,” the "Cristero boy,” José Sánchez del Río, the Italian priests, Lodovico Pavoni and Alfonso Maria Fusco, the Carmelite Elizabeth of the Trinity, and the Spanish bishop Manuel González García were all made saints. 

"We decree and define them saints, and we insert their names upon the catalogue of saints.”

Four of the new saints were killed in wars or revolutions. Pope Francis explained what were the weapons they used in battle.

POPE FRANCIS
"The seven witnesses who were canonized today also fought the good fight of faith and love by their prayers. That is why they remained firm in faith, with a generous and steadfast heart.

The pope focused his homily in the power of prayer. He said it was that what allowed these seven saints to reach the altars, despite everyday trials and tribulations. 

POPE FRANCIS
"This is the kind of spiritual life the Church asks of us: not to win by war, but to win with peace! 

"Weariness is inevitable. Sometimes we simply cannot go on, yet, with the support of our brothers and sisters, our prayer can persevere until the Lord completes his work.”

The relics of the new saints were on the altar during the ceremony. The "Cristero boy's” relic was a cross inscribed with the words "Long live Christ the King,” the last words he spoke. Salomone Leclerq's was his farewell letter before he was executed during the French Revolution. 

The ceremony had a strong Latin American touch, so much so that the Guarani language was used during the ceremony and the pope left on the popemobile to the sound of  "La Guadalupana,” a song dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe. 

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