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Transformed by love

· The celebration presided over by the Pope in St. Peter’s Square ·

Guido Maria Conforti, Luigi Guanella and Bonifacia Rodriguez de Castro proclaimed saints

“Three new saints who allowed themselves to be transformed by divine love which marked their entire existence,” said Benedict XVI on Sunday morning, October 23rd in St. Peter’s Square at the canonizations of Bishop Guido Maria Conforti, Don Luigi Guanella and Bonifacia Rodriguez de Castro.

All three were founders of religious congregations – two Italians and one Spaniard – who lived between the second-half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. The Pope emphasized the apostolic work of Conforti, who foresaw, “the urgent desire, hidden in the heart of every man, to receive and welcome the announcement of the only love that saves.” Pope Benedict highlighted the human and spiritual witness of Guanella, guided by Divine Providence, “He lived the Gospel of love with courage and determination, the “great commandment” which the Word of God recalled to us today.” Finally, speaking of Bonifacia Rodriguez de Castro, the Pope commented that she knew how to unite Christ and daily work, “Working as she did from a young age, was not just a way to not be a burden to anyone, but also implied the freedom to achieve her own vocation and at the same time gave her the possibility of drawing in and forming other women who could meet God and hear his loving call.”

At the Angelus, greeting the numerous pilgrims who came for the canonizations, Benedict XVI spoke of the three new saints as, “luminous witnesses of the Gospel,” and referring in particular to Italy said, “We pray that in this nation faith does not cease to be renewed and to produce good fruit.”

Many faithful from all over the world were present in St. Peter’s Square, including the Xaverian missionaries, founded by Conforti; religious sisters connected to Rodriguez De Castro, from Spain and Latin America, where they are active in the world of work helping particularly women; and members of the organizations founded by Guanella. On Monday morning, October 24th, the faithful participated in a Eucharistic Celebration in St. Peter’s Basilica, presided over by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State.

The Pope’s Homily




St. Peter’s Square

Feb. 18, 2020