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Pope makes four more saints

Pope John Paul II canonised four Europeans yesterday, bringing to 456 the number of people he has canonised in his 23-year papacy.

The Holy Father praised the profound spirituality of the four in a solemn ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica, where images of the new saints were displayed on tapestries.

Among them was Francoise Sales Aviat, a 19th century French nun who founded the Congregation of the Oblate Sisters of St. Francis de Sales, dedicated to helping young women pouring into cities during the Industrial Revolution.

One of the miracles attributed to her intercession was the 1992 healing of an American teenager living near Philadelphia who was nearly paralysed by a spinal disease.

Also canonised yesterday was the former bishop of the Italian city of Asti, Giuseppe Marello, who founded the Oblates of St. Joseph; Sister Paula Montal Fornes, the Spanish founder of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary; and Sister Maria Crescentia Hoss, a Bavarian-born nun.

Oblate Sisters of St Francis de Sales