VATICAN - The Pope canonises six new Saints: “Authentic peace is the fruit of Christ’s triumph over evil, sin and death. All who follow him faithfully become witnesses and builders of his peace.”
Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - On the 6th Sunday of Easter, May 16, in St Peter’s Square Pope John Paul II gave the Church six new Saints: four priests, one woman Religious and a mother. “ ’My peace I give you (Jn 14,27). In the Season of Easter we often hear this promise Jesus’ made to his disciples- the Pope said in his homily -. Authentic peace is the fruit of Christ’s triumph over evil, sin and death. All who follow him faithfully become witnesses and builders of his peace. In this light I like to contemplate the six new Saints whom the Church offers for universal veneration: Luigi Orione, Annibale Maria Di Francia, Josep Manyanet y Vives, Nimatullah Kassab Al-Hardini, Paola Elisabetta Cerioli and Gianna Beretta Molla.”
The Pope then briefly outlined the spiritual profile of each of the new Saints, so different one from the other: Saint Luigi Orione “a man totally given to the cause of Christ and his Kingdom” undeterred by physical or moral suffering, fatigue and all kinds of difficulties, misunderstandings and obstacles. “The heart of his strategy of charity was ‘unrestricted because it was dilated by the Christ’s charity.”
Love for the Lord led Annibale Maria Di Francia to devote his entire life to the spiritual good of neighbour. To his spiritual brothers he “left the task of making every effort to see that prayer for vocations was "unceasing and universal".”
Saint José Manyanet was an authentic apostle of the family. “Taking inspiration from the school of Nazareth he engaged on a project of personal holiness and devoted himself with heroic perseverance to the mission entrusted to him by the Holy Spirit. To do this he founded two religious congregations. A visible sign of his apostolic zeal is the Holy Family Cathedral in Barcelona.”
A man of prayer who loved to spend time adoring the Eucharist, Saint Nimatullah Kassab Al-Hardini is “an example for the monks of the Maronite Lebanese Order as well as for all Lebanese Christians and Christians the world over. He gave himself entirely to the Lord with a life of renunciation demonstrating that loving God is the only authentic source of joy and happiness for man”.
Contemplating the Holy Family Saint Paola Elisabetta Cerioli “realised that families would remain united if the bonds of relationship were sustained and cemented by sharing the values of Christian faith and culture... She was in fact convinced that to grow strong and healthy children need a healthy and united family which is generous and stable.”
Following the example of Christ who "loved his own… to the end" (Jn 13,1), Gianna Beretta Molla, wife and mother, “was heroically faithful to the commitment taken on her wedding day. The supreme sacrifice which sealed her life, demonstrates that only one who has the courage to give himself completely to God and to others is fully realised.”
“The earthly life of these six new Saints- the Pope concluded - encourage us to persevere on our way, trusting in the help of God and the maternal protection of Mary. From heaven they watch over us and sustain us with their powerful intercession.”
At the end of Mass, before leading the Regina Cæli hymn the Pope spoke a few words of greeting to the thousands of visitors from all over the world who had come to Rome for the canonisation. In particular he invoked the intercession Saint Nimatullah Kassab Al-Hardini to help his Lebanese compatriots “to progress along the path of peace and brotherhood” and he wished Spanish visitors the joy of walking “on the path of holiness ” following the example of the Holy Family of Nazareth. (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides 17/5/2004; Righe 41; Parole 586)
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