S+L logo

Synod of Bishops: Canonization Mass

October 12, 2008
Pope Benedict XVI sits below four images of newly canonized Saints
This has been my sixth day in Rome. While I'm eager to share my perspective on the Synod of Bishops, I must first recount the beautiful scene this morning at the Canonization Mass, as seen from my breezy vantage point next to the Saints above the the south-west colonnades.
"God, who does not wish for the death of the sinner, is always more merciful than his ministers; therefore be as merciful as you can, so that you will yourselves receive mercy from God."
In quoting Gaetano Errico, Pope Benedict XVI explained how the Naples-born priest had become "an expert in the 'science' of forgiveness." The founder of the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary was one of four Blesseds who, following the Holy Father's solemn pronouncement of the Formula di Canonizzazione, was today added to the Catalogue of Saints.
Overlooking St. Peter’s Square
From the great number of Indian flags in the crowd, it was obvious that many in the congregation were there for the elevation of Saint Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception, now the first canonized Indian woman.
Swati Meheshwari, a reporter from New Delhi's largest cable network, explained to me that few had heard of then-Blessed Alphonsa outside of Tamil Nadu, India's southernmost state. Now the whole country is aware of her, which is timely given the anti-Christian violence occuring in the country's Orissa state. Indeed, the pontiff reiterated his concern for persecuted Christians before the Angelus, which followed the Mass, and offered St. Alphonsa as a model of perseverence through suffering.
Sr. Giovanna assists a journalist
The press area was filled with many members of the mainstream media, some of whom were struggling to understand precisely when the canonization rite would occur, as much of the program was in latin. Sr. Giovanna Gentili of the Holy See Press Office joyfully guided us along, with obvious enthusiasm for the liturgy at hand.
Also elevated to Sainthood were Maria Bernarda Bütler, the Swiss-born founder of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Mary help of Sinners, and Narcisa de Jesús Martillo Morán, an extraordinary Ecuadorian lay woman.  Though the English homily is not presently  available online, you can read the multilingual version here. Expect the English homily text to appear on ZENIT on Monday.

Related posts

Deacon-structing the Mass | Part 2: The Entrance
FacebookTwitter
Last week we learned that it is our right to fully, actively, and consciously participate in the Mass. How can we do that if we don’t know what everything means? Over the next couple of weeks I hope ...read more
Encore SLHour: Perfectly Human and other great conversations
FacebookTwitter
This week, on a special edition of the SLHour, Dr. Joseph Dutkowsky tells us about working with persons with disabilities, and we learn all about the new Family Theater Productions series Catholic Cen ...read more
Why does a Toronto church have a heart in its wall? Read about this and other great stories from this week's news on Noel Ocol's Weekly News Round-Up. ...read more
"We all are in this boat together" : A Reflection on the Current Crisis in the Church
FacebookTwitter
Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., reflects on the current crisis in the Church, the Vatican's response, and how we can learn from this in the future. ...read more
Read all about the famous shrine at Knock, Ireland, which Pope Francis will visit on Sunday, August 26th, during his trip to the World Meeting of Families. ...read more
For Cindy Wooden, a distinguished Vatican journalist, Pope Francis is a dream and a nightmare. Watch this #TFImoment to find out why! ...read more
Health Food for the Soul
FacebookTwitter
"You are what you eat." Father Thomas Rosica, CSB, reflects on the meaning of Jesus' command to eat his flesh and drink his blood. ...read more
President of U.S. Bishops’ Conference Announces Effort That Will Involve Laity, Experts, and the Vatican as U.S. Bishops Resolve to Address “Moral Catastrophe”
FacebookTwitter
Read the full text of a statement from the president of the USCCB regarding the current "moral catastrophe" in the Catholic Church. ...read more
Vatican responds to Pennsylvania Grand Jury abuse report
FacebookTwitter
On Thursday evening, the Director of the Holy See Press Office issued the following statement regarding the report of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury. ...read more