Pope names 35 new saints

Vatican City. – Pope Francis declared 35 new saints on Sunday, nearly all of them martyrs drawn from the bloody history of Catholicism’s spread in Latin America. Before a crowd of some 35 000 in St Peter’s square, the pontiff carried out the rite of canonisation for 30 martyrs massacred in Brazil in the 17th century.

The two priests and 28 lay people were slaughtered by Dutch Calvinists and indigenous people in 1645, and in some cases had their hearts torn from their chests after being tortured and mutilated. Catholicism’s spread in southern Brazil started at the very end of the 1500s with Jesuit missionaries and priests from Portugal, but the arrival of Calvinists in the coming decades meant persecution for Catholics.

The new saints also included three teens slain in 16th-century Mexico due to their embrace of Catholicism. One of them, who had attempted to convert his father, was beaten to death by him. The other two canonised were a priest from Spain who devoted his life to studying therapeutic plants in the 19th century, and an Italian priest who died in the 1700s after spending his life criss-crossing the southern end of his country. Neither of those men are considered martyrs by the Catholic Church.

“The saints who were canonised today, and especially the many martyrs, point the way. They did not say a fleeting ‘yes’ to love, they said ‘yes’ with their lives and to the very end,” Francis said on Sunday.

Francis has frequently spoken out against the persecution of Christians, especially those targeted in the Middle East. The pope also announced he was calling a global assembly of bishops that would be devoted to the Amazon region, with an emphasis on indigenous people.

He said the aim was to find new ways to evangelise in that region, noting that indigenous people are “often forgotten” and face an uncertain future due to deforestation in the Amazon. In August, Brazil stripped a vast nature reserve of its protected status in a move that could expand mining in the area. The four million-hectare reserve is home to indigenous people but also rich in gold and manganese. - AFP.

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  • tapiwa magidi

    What or who gives him the right to name saints?

    • Where are the 2 million jobs

      All of the saints in the catholic church have been canonized by a pope… I guess you are not catholic so dont worry about worrying about this. Just consider it a non-entity and move on with your life

      • tapiwa magidi

        my question to you though my good friend is, the saints mentioned in the bible that will rise from the dead and go to heaven, are they going to be these people that have been canonized by the pope

  • Observer

    Do these man- conferred accolades have any meaning Biblically and spiritually?

    • Unendoro11

      The Bible itself was writen by man

    • tapiwa magidi

      These are worldly things. No human being has the power and authority to do such. For even Jesus said to them that only God in heaven is holy