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The secret of the saints

· Pope Francis canonizes four women and appeals for peace in Burundi and in the Holy Land ·

“Abiding in Christ, joined to him like branches to the vine, in order to bear much fruit”.This is the “secret of the saints”, to which Pope Francis pointed during Mass on Sunday morning, 17 May in St Peter's Square. The faithful were gathered for the canonization of four women: Jeanne Émilie de Villeneuve, foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of Castres, Maria Cristina of the Immaculate Conception, foundress of the Congregation of Sisters Expiatory Victims of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, Marie Alphonsine Danil Ghattas, foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Rosary of Jerusalem, and Mary of Jesus Crucified, professed sister of the Order of the Discalced Carmelites.

In his homily, the Pontiff touched briefly on the figures and the charisms of the four new saints, pointing to their will to “to abide in God and in his love, and thus to proclaim by our words and our lives the resurrection of Jesus, to live in unity with one another and with charity towards all”. He also recalled how their “luminous example challenges us in our lives as Christians”, before appealing for “the beloved people of Burundi who are living through a delicate moment”. “May the Lord help”, he said introducing the prayer of the Regina Caeli, “all people to flee the violence and to act responsibly for the good of the nation”.

The Pope's invitation to pray for “peace among peoples” was renewed on Monday morning, during his audience with the women religious who came to Rome for the canonization of Sr Mary of Jesus Crucified and Sr Alfonsine. “ I give you a mission”, he said in an audience in the Clementine Hall, “to pray for the two new saints, for peace in your land, because they will end this interminable war and may there be peace among peoples. Pray also for persecuted Christians, driven from their homes”. They are victims of persecution, hidden persecution, he said.

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St. Peter’s Square

Nov. 20, 2019

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