Thursday, May 09, 2013
May 9, 2013. (Romereports.com) Pope Francis will make history on May 12, during the canonization of the newest saints to the Catholic Church. Not only is it his first canonization, but he's set to become the Pope with largest number of saints created, overnight.
It's only possible because of an important technicality. Of the 802 soon to be saints, 800 of them are the martyrs of Otranto. After Ottoman soldiers invaded their town 1480, they killed the villagers for refusing to convert to Islam.
Pope Clement XIV beatified the group in 1771, and after 240 years, they will become saints. In canonizing the martyrs of Otranto, Pope Francis will have surpassed the 482 saints canonized by John Paul II.
But the history making continues with two other soon to be saints. On May 12, Mother Laura Montoya will become the first saint from Colombia. She was born in 1874 and died on 1949. She founded her own religious congregation to carry out missionary work in neglected areas of Colombia.
The process to make Mother Laura a saint began in 1963 by the congregation she founded. John Paul II beatified her in 2004. Colombia's president will be among the guests at St. Peter's Square for the canonization ceremony.
The other soon-to-be saint is Mother Guadalupe Garzia Zabala, known as Mother Lupita. She will become the second female saint from Mexico. Mother Lupita was born in 1878 and died in 1963. She also founded her own congregation and devoted her life to helping the poor.
In all, Pope Francis will canonize a total of 802 new saints during the ceremony at St. Peter's Square.