On Sunday, John Paul II proclaimed 27 new Mexican saints, 25 of them martyrs to the religious persecution of 1915-1937.
   20,000 Mexicans gathered in St Peter's Square for the canonisation, joined by 30,000 pilgrims from around the world.
   25 of the new saints, both priests and laymen, were shot or hanged out of hatred for the Catholic faith. The process of canonisation revealed how all of them died serenely, accepting the will of God, proclaiming Christ's name, and forgiving their executioners. They rejected violent protest as being against the Gospel.
   The Pope canonised two additional Mexicans, a priest and a nun, who gave their life to God in service of the poor and the sick.
   "The Church in Mexico rejoices to have these intercessors in heaven, models of supreme charity following in Jesus Christ's footsteps. All of them gave their life to God and to their brothers and sisters, through the way of martyrdom or through the generous offer of service of the needy," the Pope said during the homily, which he delivered in Spanish.


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