Archbishop John Dew blogs from Rome from the Synod on the New Evangelisation and the Transmission of the Christian Faith.
Today has been a different day for us here at the Synod, being Sunday we have not had to be at the Synod hall at all, but did take part on the Mass is St Peter’s Square when Pope Benedict canonised seven new Saints. It seemed very appropriate that this canonisation should happen today on World Mission Sunday. There was an enormous crowd gathered in the Square. I am staying right by the Colonnades which surround St Peter’s Square and the crowds of pilgrims began gathering at six o’clock this morning. The Pope said to the crowd; “On this third Sunday of October, on which we celebrate World Mission Sunday, the Church listens to them with special attention and renews her conviction that she should always be fully dedicated to serve humankind and the Gospel, after the example of the One who gave himself up even to the sacrifice of his life.”
He went on to make the connection between those gathered for the Synod on the New Evangelisation and the new saints by reminded us that the Scriptures we listened to the coincidence between this ecclesiastical meeting and World Mission Sunday is a happy one; and the word of God that we have listened to shows how to be evangelisers, called to bear witness and to proclaim the Christian message, making ourselves to Christ and following his same way of life.
He went on to say that the words of the Gospel were the blueprint for living of the seven Blessed men and women that the Church is solemnly enrolling in the ranks of the saints. They are:
1. Jacques Berthieu, born in 1838 in France.
2. Pedro Calungsod was born around the year 1654, in the Visayas region of the Philippines.
3. Giovanni Battista Piamarta, priest of the Diocese of Brescia, Italy.
4. María Carmelo Sallés y Barangueras, a religious born in Vic in Spain in 1848.
5. Marianne Cope, born in 1838 in Heppenheim, Germany, taken to the United States as a one year old.
6. Kateri Tekakwitha was born in today’s New York state in 1656 to a Mohawk father and a Christian Algonquin mother.
7. Anna Schaeffer, from Mindelstetten, Germany.
The Pope concluded his homily by saying; “May the witness of these new saints, and their lives generously spent for love of Christ, speak today to the whole Church, and may their intercession strengthen and sustain her in her mission to proclaim the Gospel to the whole world.”
It was a wonderful celebration, exuberant, happy, loud, with much cheering and singing as people of various nations honored the new saints.
With all good wishes and every blessing