Sunday, October 21, 2012

Canonisations in Rome

St Peter's Basilica adorned with portraits of the new Saints. St Kateri is on the
far left, St Marianne is second from the right. Both came from New York State.
Today Pope Benedict declared the following as Saints:


The lady in Indian costume bore the relic of St Kateri to the altar.

The relics of the new Saints.
For the occasion Pope Benedict introduced a long-disused vestment, the Fanon, which has excited those concerned about promoting the continuity of the liturgy. Further details at New Liturgical Press.

The canonisation ceremony took place as a separate liturgical act before the Mass. After the declaration of canonisations, announcements were made in various languages requesting the people to maintain a reverent attitude and, in order to promote a deeper participation in the Mass, to refrain from applause and waving banners. Pope Benedict is showing the world how the Liturgy is to be celebrated - with reverence and a contemplative attitude. Papal Liturgies are to be the models of all liturgy. We should learn - and ensure our liturgies are celebrated in accord with the Roman Liturgy.

Indians from the Upper Peninsula were present, as well as a young girl from the Marquette Cathedral Parish whose name is Kateri! What a treat!

The Pope's homily can be found here.

On the new American saints, the Holy Father remarked:
I now turn to Marianne Cope, born in 1838 in Heppenheim, Germany. Only one year old when taken to the United States, in 1862 she entered the Third Order Regular of Saint Francis at Syracuse, New York. Later, as Superior General of her congregation, Mother Marianne willingly embraced a call to care for the lepers of Hawaii after many others had refused. She personally went, with six of her fellow sisters, to manage a hospital on Oahu, later founding Malulani Hospital on Maui and opening a home for girls whose parents were lepers. Five years after that she accepted the invitation to open a home for women and girls on the island of Molokai itself, bravely going there herself and effectively ending her contact with the outside world. There she looked after Father Damien, already famous for his heroic work among the lepers, nursed him as he died and took over his work among male lepers. At a time when little could be done for those suffering from this terrible disease, Marianne Cope showed the highest love, courage and enthusiasm. She is a shining and energetic example of the best of the tradition of Catholic nursing sisters and of the spirit of her beloved Saint Francis.

Kateri Tekakwitha was born in today’s New York state in 1656 to a Mohawk father and a Christian Algonquin mother who gave to her a sense of the living God. She was baptized at twenty years of age and, to escape persecution, she took refuge in Saint Francis Xavier Mission near Montreal. There she worked, faithful to the traditions of her people, although renouncing their religious convictions until her death at the age of twenty-four. Leading a simple life, Kateri remained faithful to her love for Jesus, to prayer and to daily Mass. Her greatest wish was to know and to do what pleased God. She lived a life radiant with faith and purity.

Kateri impresses us by the action of grace in her life in spite of the absence of external help and by the courage of her vocation, so unusual in her culture. In her, faith and culture enrich each other! May her example help us to live where we are, loving Jesus without denying who we are. Saint Kateri, Protectress of Canada and the first native American saint, we entrust to you the renewal of the faith in the first nations and in all of North America! May God bless the first nations!
St Marianne and St Kateri: pray for the New Evangelisation in the United States of America and in the Americas, and especially among the Native American peoples.

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