Pope Benedict XVI named seven new saints on Sunday, looking to reinvigorate the faith in parts of the world where the religion is lagging, reports Fox News Latino. In his homily, Pope Benedict praised each of the seven as heroic and courageous examples for the entire church.
"May the witness of these new saints ... 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," he said.
Several of the new saints worked as missionaries. The new saints include: Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint from the United States; Mother Marianne Cope, a 19th century Franciscan nun who cared for leprosy patients in Hawaii; Pedro Calungsod, a 17th century Filipino teenage martyr; Jacques Berthieu, a 19th century French Jesuit missionary who was killed by rebels in Madagascar; Giovanni Battista Piamarta, an Italian who founded a religious order in 1900 and established a Catholic printing and publishing house in his native Brescia; Carmen Salles y Barangueras, a Spanish nun who founded a religious order to educate children in 1892; and Anna Schaeffer, a 19th century German lay woman who became a model for the sick and suffering after she fell into a boiler that badly burned her legs, with no hope of healing.
In order to be named a saint, the Vatican requires that a "miracle" was performed through the intercession of the candidate, a medically inexplicable cure that can be directly linked to the prayers offered by the faithful. One miracle is needed for beatification, a second for canonization.