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Pope Francis canonizes seven new saints

An estimated 80,000 people attended the canonization Mass at St. Peter's Square

Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service
Vatican City

October 17, 2016

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The seven new saints of the church were holy not because of their own efforts but because of "the Lord who triumphs in them and with them," Pope Francis said, reported Catholic News Service.

Each one "struggled to the very end with all their strength," which they received through perseverance and prayer, the pope said Oct. 16 at a canonization Mass in St. Peter's Square.

"They remained firm in faith, with a generous and steadfast heart. Through their example and their intercession, may God also enable us to be men and women of prayer," the pope told the estimated 80,000 people present at the Mass.

Seven large tapestries bearing the portraits of the new saints decorated the facade of St. Peter's Basilica, some representing specific aspects of their lives that exemplified their holiness.

Argentine "gaucho priest," St. Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero was portrayed sitting on a donkey, his humble means of transportation when traveling thousands of miles to minister to the poor and the sick.

St. Jose Sanchez del Rio, a 14-year-old Mexican boy martyred for refusing to renounce his faith during the Cristero War of the 1920s, was depicted holding a palm branch and rosary while a trail of blood and a single bullet were at his feet.

St. Salomone Leclerq, who was killed after refusing to renounce his faith at the height of the French Revolution, was shown with his eyes fixed toward heaven as an angel carried a palm, symbolizing his martyrdom for the faith.

The French Carmelite writer and mystic, St. Elizabeth of the Holy Trinity, was shown seated in prayer, and St. Manuel Gonzalez Garcia, a Spanish bishop who spent his life devoted to Eucharistic adoration, smiled radiantly.

Brightly colored tapestries also featured the images of two new Italian saints: St. Ludovico Pavoni, the founder of the Sons of Mary Immaculate, who dedicated his life to the vocational and spiritual education of the poor and hearing impaired, and St. Alfonso Maria Fusco, founder of the Congregation of the Baptistine Sisters of the Nazarene and of the Little House of Providence, a home for abandoned children.

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