RELIGION

New Saints From Canada And Brazil: Joe Anchieta, Marie de l'Incarnation, Francois de Laval Will Be Canonized

02/04/2014 09:21 am ET | Updated Feb 04, 2014
ASSOCIATED PRESS

According to the National Catholic Reporter, three blessed figures in the history of the Canadian and Brazilian Catholic Churches are likely to be named saints by the end of the year. Beatified in 1980, they have been put on a fast track to sainthood after Pope Francis waived some of the usual procedures in response to requests from the Canadian and Brazilian bishops' conferences.

Blessed Joe Anchieta, also known as the Apostle of Brazil, was a 16th century Spanish Jesuit missionary to Brazil. President of the Brazilian bishops' conference, Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis of Aparecida, announced in December that their request for Anchieta's canonization had been accepted by Pope Francis, though a miracle attributed to his intercession had not been officially confirmed.

Blessed Marie de l'Incarnation, called the Mother of the Canadian Church, was an Ursuline nun who founded Canada's first school. Fluent in Algonquin and Iroquois, she taught the children of both the settlers and the native population.

Blessed Francois de Laval, the first bishop of Quebec, rejected his family wealth in order to hold fast to his spiritual vocation. Descended from the Montmorency family in France, he laid the foundations of the French Canadian church.

Fr. Marc Lindeijer, the vice postulater of sainthood causes for the Jesuit order, explained that the "positio" document advocating sainthood for those three would go "directly to the prelates of the congregations-- the bishops and cardinals." Usually, a positio is reviewed by at least six historians as well as a board of theologians before it goes to the bishops and cardinals, as they then recommend causes to the pope.

Lindeijer said that the pope could recognize them as saints as early as April, after which a date for their canonization will be set. He explained that many receive graces through them already, commenting, "On the basis of massive popular devotion, they will be canonized."

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