October 15, 2010
. With the canonizations of October 17, the number of saints proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI stands at 29. Among them, the first Australian saint, Mary MacKillop and the "miracle man of Montreal", Brother André.
The oldest to be canonized is the Polish priest Stanisław Soltys, who was born in the year 1433. He was professor of philosophy and theology, and was known for his devotion to the Eucharist and for giving wonderful homilies.
The second oldest is the Italian nun Battista Varano, who was born in 1458. She was the daughter of a noble, but decided to renounce everything and devote herself to religious life.
Another is the Italian religious Giulia Salzano. Born in 1846 she founded the Order of the Catechist Sisters of the Sacred Heart.
Also raised to the altars is Australia's first saint, Sister Mary MacKillop, who founded the Order of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart, dedicated to educating poor children and to helping the needy and the outcasts of society.
Sister Maria Casey
Postulator for Mary MacKillop’s Cause
“She new what it was to be a migrant, and Australia has many migrants, with a lot of loneliness, isolation and sadness; she also knew what it was like to be homeless, because her father wasn’t able to keep up paid work. She knew what was having the media after her, and sometimes not very nice. So she has a lot of difficulties during her life but she was very happy and content person because of her great love for god, so I think what we are saying to the people today is she would understand your problems.”
Brother André, Canadian religious of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, is also one of the new saints. He lived between 1845 and 1937. He worked as a shoemaker, baker, farmer. He had the gift of healing the sick, so they started calling him the 'Miracle Man of Montreal'.
Brother John Paige
Congregation of Holy Cross
“He had fragile health and he was not schooled other than to read and write taught by his mother, but the novice master said this fellow prays well and he’ll be able to teach other people to pray so he recommended he make his vows as a professed brother of Holy Cross and in fact that’s what happened.”
The Pope also declares holy the Spanish nun Candida Maria de Jesus Cipitria and Barriola, who was born in 1845. She is famous in Spain for founding the Congregation of the Daughters of Jesus in Salamanca, an Order dedicated to teaching young people.