December 20, 2011. (Romereports.com)
Benedict XVI has approved the canonization of seven blessed. Among them
is the first Native American to ascend to the altars and the main
colloborator of Father Damien.
The pope has recognized a miracle attributed to the intercession of each one of them. He has not officially called for their canonization but, he's expected to do so next fall.
One of the future saints is the Italian Giovanni Battista Piamarta, born in 1841 and founder of two religious orders.
Then there is the French Jacques Berthieu, a Jesuit priest shot to death in Madagascar in 1896 for defending Christianity.
Another is the Spanish nun Mary of Mount Carmel. In 1892 she founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception.
Also on the list is Marianne Cope, the nun who in 1888 traveled to Hawaii to help Father Damien of Molokai in the care of leprosy patients.
Possibly the most unique is the American Indian Kateri Tekakwitha, who in 1676 was marginalized by her tribe after converting to Christianity.
The teenager Pedro Calungsod will be the second saint in Philippine history. He was martyred in 1672 for defending missionaries.
The last on the list is Germany's Anna Schäfer, who always wanted to be a missionary. In 1901 she suffered burns on her legs, she was then bedridden for 24 years and offered her pain for the salvation of souls.