VATICAN CITY, 17 OCT 2010 (VIS) – At 10 a.m. today Benedict XVI celebrated the Eucharist in the atrium of the Vatican Basilica, and canonised the following six blesseds: Stanislao Soltys, called Kazimierczyk, Polish professed religious of the Order of Canons Regular Lateranense (1433-1489); Andre Bessette (ne Alfred), Canadian professed religious of the Congregation of the Holy Cross (1845-1937); Candida Maria de Jesus Cipitria y Barriola (nee Juana Josefa), Spanish founder of the Congregation of the Daughters of Jesus (1845-1912); Mary of the Cross MacKillop (nee Mary Helen), Australian founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart (1842-1909); Giulia Salzano, Italian founder of the Congregation of Sisters Catechists of the Sacred Heart (1846-1929), and Battista da Varano (nee Camilla), professed nun of the Order of Poor Clares (1458-1524).
At the beginning of his homily the Pope explained how “this Sunday’s liturgy offers us a fundamental teaching: the importance of ceaseless prayer. Sometimes we get tired of praying, we have the impression that prayer is not very useful in life, that it is not terribly effective. So we are tempted to dedicate ourselves to activity, to using human means to achieve our aims, without turning to God. However, Jesus affirms that we must always pray”.
“Faith is essential as the basis for prayerful behaviour”, said the Holy Father, noting that “this was the approach of the six new saints who today are being proposed for veneration by the Universal Church”.
On the subject of the Polish Stanislao Kazimierczyk, recalled how “his entire life was tied to the Eucharist”, particularly “through his ardent love for Christ present in the species of bread and wine” and “through love for others, of which Communion is the source and the sign”.
Andre Bessette from the Canadian city of Quebec was “doorman at the Notre Dame College in Montreal, where he showed boundless charity and did everything possible to soothe the despair of those who confided in him”, said the Pope. “He was witness to many healings and conversions. … For him, everything spoke of God and His presence. May we, following his example, search for God with simplicity to discover Him always present at the centre of our lives”.
On the subject of the Spanish Candida Maria de Jesus Cipitria y Barriola, Benedict XVI highlighted how “she lived for God and for what He most loves: to reach all people and bring them the hope that does not waver, especially those who need Him most. … Though possessing few resources, she managed to inspire other sisters to follow Jesus and dedicate themselves to teaching and to the promotion of women. This is how the Congregation of the Daughters of Jesus was founded, which today sees in its founder a model of sublime life to be imitated, and a mission to be continued in the many countries already reached by the spirit and apostolic zeal of Mother Candida”.
Mother Mary MackKillop, the first Australian saint, “dedicated herself as a young woman to the education of the poor in the difficult and demanding terrain of rural Australia. … She attended to the needs of each young person entrusted to her, without regard for social position or wealth, providing both intellectual and spiritual formation. Despite many challenges, her prayers to St. Joseph and her unflagging devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to whom she dedicated her new congregation, gave this holy woman the graces she needed to remain faithful to God and the Church. Through her intercession, may her followers today continue to serve God and the Church with faith and humility”.
Giulia Salzano “well understood the importance of catechesis in the Church and, uniting educational skill to spiritual zeal, she dedicated herself to this with generosity and intelligence, contributing to the formation of people of every age and social class. She repeated to her fellow sisters that she wanted to teach catechism until the last hour of her life, showing with her whole being that if ‘God created us to know, love and serve Him in this life’, nothing should take precedence over that task. May the example and intercession of St. Giulia Salzano sustain the Church in her perennial task of proclaiming Christ and forming authentic Christian consciences”.
The Pope concluded his homily by referring to Battista Camilla da Varano, who “bore profound witness to the evangelical significance of life, especially by her perseverance in prayer. … Completely immersed in the depths of the divine, hers was a constant ascent along the path of perfection, demonstrating heroic love for God and neighbour. Her journey was marked by great sufferings and mystical consolations, for she had in fact decided, as she herself wrote, ‘to enter into the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and to drown in the ocean of His most bitter sufferings’. In an age in which the Church was experiencing a relaxation of customs, she decisively followed the way of penitence and prayer, animated by the ardent desire for renewal of the Mystical Body of Christ”.