Pope Benedict canonizes First Brazilian Saint
and makes call for reconciliation with God
Sao Paulo, May 11, 2007 / 12:18 pm (CNA).- Today, before more than a
million faithfull gathered at the Campo de Marte in Sao Paulo, Pope
Benedict canonized Brazil's first native-born saint before hundreds
of thousands of flag-waving followers in the world's largest Roman
Catholic nation. Pope Benedict made reminded the necessity for
reconciliation with God and among men, calling for clean lives and
The Pope urged the faithful to follow the example of the new saint,
the 18th century Friar Antonio Galvao, in helping the poor and needy
in a world he said was "so full of hedonism".
Catholics came from across Brazil and other Latin America countries
for the open-air mass, many camping out overnight in chilly weather
on the Campo de Marte military airfield on the edge of Sao Paulo.
Pope Benedict's canonization of Friar Galvao was an important part
of his mission on this trip to revitalize the Church in Latin
America, home to nearly half the world's 1.1 billion Catholics.
Frei Galvao is considered a guardian of women in labor and the
Vatican has attributed two miracles to him -- the curing of a
4-year-old girl who was believed to have an incurable disease and
the survival of a mother and child in a high-risk birth.
"He was renowned as a counselor, he was a bringer of peace to souls
and families, and a dispenser of charity especially toward the poor
and the sick," the Pope said in his homily.
"The world needs transparent lives, clear souls, pure minds that
refuse to be perceived as mere objects of pleasure," he said.
He also criticized the media business, saying: "It is necessary to
oppose those elements of the media that ridicule the sanctity of
marriage and virginity before marriage."
"Can men and women of this world find peace if they don't integrate
into their conscience the necessity to reconcile with God, with the
neighbor, and with their own self?" the Pope asked. "It is only
united in communion with the Lord through the Eucharist and
reconciled with God and our neighbour that we will be bearers of
this peace the world cannot give," Pope Benedict added.
Police estimated the crowd numbered 1 million people but reporters
said it looked to be smaller. However, Pope Benedict appeared to be
winning some hearts and minds.
The Pope will meet Brazilian bishops in Sao Paulo's Se Cathedral
later on Friday and then travel to the holy shrine city of Aparecida,
where he will deliver the opening address to a conference of Latin
American and Caribbean bishops.
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