Pope to canonize Uruguay’s first saint on Sunday

Pope Francis will canonize ten new saints, in a ceremony in Saint Peter’s Square, on Sunday (15), among them the first in Uruguay, the Italian-Uruguayan nun Francisca Rubatto (1844-1904), who spent part of her life in South America.

Dozens of faithful from different countries are expected at the ceremony, the first in three years. In it, the French Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916) will also receive the honor of the altars; Dutch journalist Titus Brandsma, executed in the Nazi death camp at Dachau in 1942; and Lazarus, an 18th-century Indian martyr.

This is one of the greatest canonizations in history, which will be attended, among others, by the late-term Prime Minister of France, Jean Castex, delegations from Latin America and Africa, as well as relatives and representatives of orders religious.

“Although Uruguay does not have the religious practice we have in other places, it is touched by witnesses like this,” Uruguayan Bishop Carlos Collazzi, former president of the Episcopal Conference of Uruguay, who will attend the ceremony, told Vatican News. with a delegation of religious from his country.

Born on February 14, 1844 in the town of Carmagnola, in northern Italy, Rubatto lived and carried out her pastoral work in Uruguay, where she died on August 6, 1904. A nun of the Capuchin Sisters since 1884, she dedicated herself to the sick, especially to abandoned children, young people and elderly people.

In 1892, with four religious from the congregation, he left for Latin America to carry out his apostolate in Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil, where he founded the Capuchin Sisters of Mother Rubatto.

She was proclaimed blessed by Pope John Paul II on October 10, 1993, and in 2020 the Church recognized her intervention in a second miracle. With that, as established by Vatican regulations, she can become a saint.

The miracle was the inexplicable healing of a young Uruguayan woman, in 2000, after suffering a motorcycle accident that left her in a coma.

Foucauld: model of fraternity

The life of French hermit Charles de Foucauld, murdered in 1916 in the Algerian desert, is considered an example for all Catholics, according to Pope Francis himself, who praised his “ability to feel like a brother to all”.

“Raised in the Christian faith, a young agnostic, a Cavalry officer consumed by his passions, an explorer, after meeting the God of Mercy, he was a Trappist and, finally, a hermit given to everything in the Sahara desert. itinerary of this witness to the Gospel are rich and not without harshness”, sums up the Pope in an article in Vatican News.

Proclaimed blessed in 2005 by Benedict XVI, he will be canonized after interfering, according to the Vatican, in a second miracle: the recovery of a young carpenter after a serious fall.

“For the Church of Algeria it is extremely important, because he spent a good part of his incredible life there,” Archbishop of Algiers, Monsignor Jean-Paul Vesco, who will be at the ceremony, told AFP.

Among the ten new saints are also the French César de Bus (1544-1607), founder of the congregation of Fathers of Christian Doctrine, who worked for the rebirth of Christianity in a time troubled by the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation; and Sister Marie Rivier (1768-1838), a teacher who founded the congregation of the Presentation of Mary.

The canonization of Dutch intellectual and journalist Titus Brandsma (1881-1942), known for his opposition to Nazi propaganda during World War II, was enthusiastically received by the Catholic press. A group of journalists signed an open letter this week in which they asked the pope to designate Brandsma as the patron saint of this professional category.

The first Indian layman to be a saint will be the martyr of Lazarus, Devashaayam Pillai (1712-1752), a Hindu convert to Christianity. Imprisoned, tortured for three years and then executed, he refused to renounce his faith.

Rounding out the list of future saints are the Italian priests Luigi Maria Palazzolo (1827-1886) and Giustino Maria Russolillo (1891-1955) and the Italian nuns Maria Domenica Mantovani (1862-1934) and Maria di Gesù Santocanale (1852-1923).

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