October 13, 2009.
One of the more prominent new saints is Father Damien, a Belgian priest who dedicated his life to helping lepers in Hawaii, living among them and eventually dying of leprosy himself.Matthew Bunson
Author, St. Damien of Molokai“This Belgian priest living in Hawaii became bigger than both Belgium and Hawaii, justifiably celebrated by both. But by the time of that immense suffering that he underwent in Molokai he had become a truly international figure”.
The missionary spirit in him would shape the mold of his service to others. Damien prayed to be sent abroad. His prayers were finally answered in the form of a missionary trip to Hawaii to 1864, the same year he was ordained priest.
Another European, Rafael Arnaiz Baron, known also as Brother Rafael, was also given a place on the altars. He was born in Spain in 1911 and died at the age of 27 as an oblate of the Trappists of Saint Isidore de Dueñas
He left his studies behind in 1934 to become a monk, something he did for only a few years because of the strong diabetes he suffered. He had an affinity for the Eucharist, the Virgin and God’s providence over history.
Another Spaniard, Francis Coll was also canonized. He was a Dominican priest who the pope described as one eagerly dedicated to proclaim the Gospel.
Francis was conscious of the ignorance surrounding religion which is why he founded the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary who dedicated themselves to educating girls, a group Francis considered the pillar of society. Padre Vito Tomás Gómez
Postulador Francisco Coll y Guitart“He discovered that women have a privileged role in the construction of society and that this role couldn’t be well carried out without formation, schools for girls and an education that Francis understood as the best
Blessed Archbishop Zygmunt Szsczęsny Felińsk was also named saint. He founded the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of the family of Mary and was Archbishop of Warsaw.
Archbishop Felinsk defended his fellow Poles who were pushing back against Russian annexation in the latter part of the 19th century. He died in exile and would never see Poland again.Teresa Antonietta Fracek
Postulator“During the last years of his life he was Archbishop of Tarso a Dzwiniaczka which was under Austrian rule. His biographers say he did a remarkable amount of priestly, educational and social work”.
The last new saint, Marie de la Croix Jugan, comes from France. She founded the Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Poor, and once took an elderly blind woman she found on the street into her home.Sr. Julie Horesman
Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Poor“She didn’t have the intention of doing anything big, she was just doing an act of charity for one person she knew and knew need her help.”
Five exceptional figures celebrated in St. Peter’s Square, recognized for their work in their service to others and to God.