POPE AT CANONIZATION MASS: NEW SAINTS “KINDLY LIGHTS” IN THE GLOOM OF THE WORLD

Better late than never! Some day I will publish a moment-by- moment account of participation in or covering a major event in the Vatican such as a synod or yesterday’s Mass in St. Peter’s Square with a canonization ceremony. If you’d been by my side yesterday (I had a privileged seat in an area to the right of but on the same level as the papal altar!), from early morning to late night, and then again, this morning and afternoon, you’d understand perhaps just a bit the delay in publishing the news and photos of the canonization.

And sometimes I simply like to enjoy a Sunday and participate in a papal Mass as a member of the faithful, not the media (leaving that to other colleagues).

In any case, here’s part of the papal homily yesterday as well as some photos I took from my wonderful seat.

POPE AT CANONIZATION MASS: NEW SAINTS “KINDLY LIGHTS” IN THE GLOOM OF THE WORLD

Pope Francis presided over the canonizations of Cardinal John Henry Newman, Sister Marian Thresia, Sister Giuseppina Vannini, Sister Dulce Lopes Pontes, and Marguerite Bays on Sunday in St. Peter’s Square. In his homily, the Pope reflected on the Gospel account of the lepers, and on the verbs “to cry out, to walk, to give thanks”.

And he spoke on the new saints
Noting that three of the new saints canonized this Sunday were religious women, the Pope said they show us that “the consecrated life is a journey of love to the existential peripheries”. Laywoman Marguerite Bays, on the other hand, “speaks to us of the power of simple prayer, enduring patience and silent self-giving.

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Pope Francis concluded his homily by quoting Saint John Henry Newman, who described the holiness of daily life in these words: “The Christian has a deep, silent, hidden peace, which the world sees not… The Christian is cheerful, easy, kind, gentle, courteous, candid, unassuming; has no pretence… with so little that is unusual or striking in his bearing, that he may easily be taken at first sight for an ordinary man.”

Let us ask God to be like that, said Pope Francis: “Kindly lights” amid the encircling gloom.

To read the rest of the Pope’s homily and his words in the Gospel story of the 10 lepers whom Jesus cured but only one returned to thank him, click here: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-10/pope-canonization-mass-st-peters-newman.html