Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Pope Benedict XVI: Bl Kateri Tekakwitha, six others to be canonized
The Holy Father on Monday received in audience Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and authorised the promulgation of decrees concerning the following causes:
- Blessed Giovanni Battista Piamarta, Italian priest and founder of the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth and of the Congregation of the Humble Sister Servants of the Lord (1841-1913).
- Blessed Jacques Berthieu, French martyr and priest of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) (1838-1896).
- Blessed Maria del Carmen (born Maria Salles y Barangueras), Spanish foundress of the Conceptionist Missionary Sisters of Teaching (1848-1911).
- Blessed Maria Anna Cope, nee Barbara, German religious of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis in Syracuse U.S.A. (1838-1918).
- Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, American laywoman (1656-1680).
- Blessed Pedro Calungsod, Filipino lay catechist and martyr (1654-1672).
- Blessed Anna Schaffer, German laywoman (1882-1925).
- Servant of God Louis Brisson, French priest and founder of the Oblates of St. Francis of Sales (1817-1908).
- Servant of God Luigi Novarese, Italian diocesan priest and founder of the Silent Workers of the Cross (1914-1984).
- Servant of God Maria Luisa (nee Gertrude Prosperi), Italian abbess of the convent of the Order of St. Benedict of Trevi (1799-1847).
- Servant of God Mother St. Louis (nee Maria Luisa Elisabeth de Lamoignon, widow of Mole de Champlatreux), French foundress of the Sisters of St. Louis (1763-1825).
- Servant of God Maria Crescencia (nee Maria Angelica Perez), Argentinean professed religious of the Congregation of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Orchard (1897-1932).
- Servant of God Nicola Rusca, Swiss diocesan priest, killed in hatred of the faith (1563-1618).
- Servants of God Luis Orencio (ne Antonio Sola Garriga) and eighteen companions of the Institute of Brothers of Christian Schools; Antonio Mateo Salamero, diocesan priest, and Jose Gorostazu Labayen, layman, all killed in hatred of the faith in Spain in 1936.
- Servants of God Alberto Maria Marco y Aleman and eight companions of the Order of Carmelites of the Ancient Observance, and Agustin Maria Garcia Tribaldos and fifteen companions of the Institute of Brothers of Christian Schools; all killed in hatred of the faith in Spain between 1936 and 1937.
- Servants of God Mariano Alcala Perez and eighteen companions of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy, killed in hatred of the faith in Spain between 1936 and 1937.
- Servant of God Donato Giannotti, Italian diocesan priest and founder of the Congregation of Sisters Handmaidens of the Immaculate Conception (1828-1914).
- Servant of God Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus (ne Henri Grialou), French professed priest of the Order of Discalced Carmelites and founder of the Institute of Notre-Dame de Vie (1894-1967).
- Servant of God Alphonse-Marie (nee Elisabeth Eppinger), French foundress of the Congregation of Sisters of the Blessed Saviour (1814-1867).
- Servant of God Marguerite Lucia Szewczyk, Polish foundress of the Congregation of the Daughters of the Sorrowful Mother of God - Seraphic Sisters (1828-1905).
- Servant of God Assunta Marchetti, Italian co-foundress of the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles (1871-1948).
- Servant of God Maria Julitta (nee Teresa Eleonora Ritz), German professed sister of the Congregation of Sisters of the Redeemer (1882-1966).
- Servant of God Maria Anna Amico Roxas, Italian laywoman and foundress of the Society of St. Ursula (1883-1947).


VATICAN  CITY, 20 DEC 2011 (VIS) - Cuba is preparing to greet Benedict XVI "with  affection and respect", and President Raul Castro has welcomed  "with satisfaction" the official announcement of the Pope's visit  to the country, according to an official note released on Cuban media today.  The visit is due to take place at the end of March 2012.

   On Sunday 18 December, the Cuban president met with a Holy See delegation to  discuss preparations for the forthcoming visit, which the Holy Father himself  announced during a Mass on 12 December for the Solemnity of Our Lady of  Guadalupe, patron of Latin America, and for the two hundredth anniversary of  the independence of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. During  the meeting "the excellent relations between Cuba and the Holy See were  highlighted, and certain details of the Pope's visit were examined".

   Benedict XVI's visit, his second to Latin America following his trip to  Brazil in 2007, will coincide initiatives organised by the local episcopate  to celebrate the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of the image of  "Nuestra Senora de la Caridad del Cobre", patron of the island. One  of these initiatives is a Marian Jubilee Year, which will begin on 7 January  2012 and end on 5 January 2013.
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VATICAN  CITY, 20 DEC 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father yesterday signed decrees  acknowledging miracles attributed to the intervention of seven blesseds (four  women and three men) who will shortly be canonised. One of the new blesseds  is Kateri Tekakwitha, the first native North American to be raised to the  glory of the altars.

   Kateri Tekakwitha was born in 1656 in Ossernenon (present-day Auriesville,  U.S.A.). Her father was a Mohawk chief and her mother a Roman Catholic  Algonquian who had been educated by French missionaries. At the age of four  she lost her family in a smallpox epidemic which also left her disfigured and  with poor eyesight. Adopted by a relative, the chief of neighbouring clan,  she continued to nurture an interest in Christianity and was baptised at the  age of 20.

   The members of her tribe did not understand her new religious affiliation and  she was marginalised, practising physical mortification as a path of sanctity  and praying for the conversion of her relatives. Having suffered persecutions  which put her life at risk, she was forced to flee to a native American  Christian community in Kahnawake, Quebec where she made a vow of chastity and  lived a life dedicated to prayer, penance, and care for the sick and elderly.  She died in 1680 at the age of 24. Her last words were: "Jesus, I love you".  According to tradition, Kateri's scars disappeared after her death to reveal  a woman of great beauty, and numerous sick people who participated in her  funeral were miraculously healed.

   The process of canonisation began in 1884. She was declared venerable by Pius  XII in 1943 and beatified by John Paul II in 1980. As the first native North  American to be beatified she occupies a special place in the devotion of her  people. Her feast day  falls on 14 July.

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