October 18, 2010.
Some 80 thousand pilgrims flooded Saint Peters square for the canonization of six new saints. Among them was the first Australian saint, as well as one Canadian, one Polish, one Spanish and two Italians.
The canonization is one of the most solemn ceremonies in the Catholic church. During the ritual, the pope prayed the litany of Saints and then read the canonization rite in Latin, the official language of the Church. Benedicto XVIThe blessed Stanislaw Kazimierczyk Soltys, André Bessette, Cándida Maria de Jesus Cipitria y Barriola, Mary MacKillop, Giulia Salzano y Battista Camilla de Varano, we declare you and define you saints. We will include their names in the book of the saints and we establish that they be devotedly honored throughout the entire church.”
Honored guests included Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, the Foreign Ministers of both Canada and Australia and the Spanish vice minister of Justice.
In his homily, the Pope reminded the crowd that all Christians must strive to be saints.
The Pope also reflected on the lives of those honored. For example, the life of the saint, Mother Cándida María de Jesús Cipitria y Barriola.Benedicto XVI“She lived for God and for what He asks most: to reach all, to bring to all the hope that never falters. Especially to those who need it most.”
Benedict XVI's did little to hide the excitement of canonizing the first Australian saint, sister Mary MacKillop. Benedicto XVI“She dedicated herself as a young woman to the education of the poor in the difficult and demanding terrain of rural Australia, inspiring other women to join her in the first women’s community of religious sisters of that country.”
Sydney Archbishop Cardinal George Pell was among the Australian pilgrims in Saint Peters Square. He came to Rome accompanied by 8 thousand people. Hours before the ceremony, he told Rome Reports that this was largest expedition of Australians after the Second World War. Card. George Pell
Archbishop of Sydney (Australia)
“It is an important sign of our maturity. What is also very interesting is that the Australians, not just the catholics, are also very pleased with this official recognition.”
The ceremony culminated in the handing over of the holy relics of the new saints. After the mass, they were transferred to the pope's private chapel who will venerate them himself over the next few weeks.