Everette Alden from Crowe Agency, Mont., collects water at the spring where it is believed Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha was baptized in Fonda, N.Y. Blessed Kateri, a young Mohawk-Algonquin woman, will become the first member of a North American tribe to bec ome a saint when she is canonized Oct. 21 at the Vatican.
Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY — Catholic devotion to the saints appears to be alive and well, and Pope Benedict continues to proclaim new saints at a regular pace.
The official calendar of saints’ feast days will grow in October when the pope canonizes seven men and women, including Mother Marianne Cope of Molokai and three laypeople: the Native American Kateri Tekakwitha, the Filipino Peter Calungsod and the German Anna Schaffer.
The canonization Mass will be one of the first big events of Pope Benedict’s Year of Faith, which is designed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and to launch a strengthened commitment to the new evangelization.
According to Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, the appeal of the saints and their concrete examples of holiness give them “an undeniably positive role to play in this time of new evangelization,” since they are living proof that the church is holy.
In a new book, currently available only in Italian, Cardinal Amato writes that it’s easy to understand how people can question the church’s holiness when they see the sinful behavior of some of its members. But the good, loving and charitable activities of other members are the best evidence that the church truly is the holy body of Christ, he says.
“The holiness of the church is not the sum of the holiness of its children, but is a spiritual gift received from the spirit of the Risen Christ,” he writes.