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Uruguay's first saint is proclaimed after 3 years without canonizations

Papa Francisco participa da Santa Missa na Basílica de São Pedro, na Cidade do Vaticano, 24 de abril de 2022.

Pope Francis attends Holy Mass in St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City,

of April 2022.

)| Photo: EFE/EPA/CLAUDIO PERI

Pope Francis proclaimed as a saint this Sunday the religious Maria Francisca de Jesús (1844-1916 ), considered the first in Uruguay, along with nine other blesseds, among them the Frenchman Charles de Foucauld, the hermit who evangelized in the Sahara desert, and the Dutch Carmelite Titus Brandsma, a journalist executed by the Nazis in the concentration camp. of Dachau.

It was the first canonization in three years, which marks the return to the Vatican of the great celebrations, suspended due to the pandemic. Pope Francis presided in a crowded St. Peter’s Square, before about 60 a thousand faithful, an emotional ceremony that had the basilica as a backdrop, adorned with the tapestries of the ten proclaimed saints.

“Our traveling companions, today canonized, lived holiness in this way: they exhausted for the Gospel, enthusiastically embracing their vocation – priest, consecrated person, lay person -, they discovered an unparalleled joy and became a luminous reflection of the Lord in history. Let’s try to do that too”, suggested Francisco.

María Francisca is the first Uruguayan saint

The first Uruguayan saint, María Francisca de Jesús, whose real name was Ana María Rubatto, was the founder in 1852 of the Congregation of the Capuchin Sisters, dedicated to caring for the sick and, above all, for children and abandoned young people.

Born in 1838 in Carmagnola (Piedmont, Italy), departed in 1892 with four sisters from their congregation for Latin America to offer their contribution in Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil; and finally settled in Montevideo, where he created a workshop that in time became the Colegio San José de la Providencia.

Among the new saints are also Tito Brandsma (1881-1942), killed by lethal injection at Dachau after offering to replace a prisoner sentenced to execution, and the religious Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916), a hermit who explored the Sahara and Tuareg culture and is considered a symbol of dialogue between religions.

The list is completed by the French religious Marie Rivier (1607-1838) and César De Bus (1280-1607), the Italians Luigi Maria Palazzololo (1827-1955 ), Maria Doménica Mantovan (1852- 1916), Giustino Maria Russolillo (

-1955) and Maria de Gesù (Carolina Santocanale) (1852-1923) and the Indian layman Lazarus, known as Devasaayam (16094505 -1916 ).

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