|Vatican||POPE BEATIFIES FIVE IN VATICAN CEREMONY|
Pope John Paul II beatified five people from Asia, Europe and South America on Sunday, setting them on the road to sainthood.
The five, from India, Italy, Sweden, Germany and Colombia, had dedicated their lives to the poor and the sick.
The Holy Father has beatified more people than any other Pope, bringing his total to 1791 since he was elected more than 21 years ago.
More than 30,000 pilgrims packed St. Peter's Square for Sunday's ceremony, many from countries where the five "confessors of the faith" came from. Beatification is the penultimate step before sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church.
"This group wanted to know Jesus," said the 79-year-old Pope.
The latest beatifications are:
- Mariam Thresia Chiramel Mankidiyan (1876-1926), who carried out apostolate work, helping the poor and sick in the streets of her village in India.
- Anna Rosa Gattorno (1831-1900), who co-founded an institute in Piacenza in northern Italy dedicated to the poor and sick in 1866.
- Mary Elizabeth Hesselblad (1870-1957), a Swedish nun who gave refuge to Jews in her homeland during World War II.
- Mariano de Jesus Euse Hoyos (1845-1926), the first Colombian to be beatified, who devoted his life to serving the poor farmers of his parish.
- Francesco Saverio Seelos (1819-67), born in Bavaria, who travelled widely in the United States, working as a missionary.