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Pope schedules nine canonisations

During an Ordinary Consistory in Rome yesterday, Pope John Paul II set dates for the canonisation of nine new saints, including Opus Dei founder Josemaria Escriva, and Padre Pio.

Seven of the canonisations will take place in Rome, with the other two in Mexico and Guatemala. After leaving World Youth Day in Toronto at the end of July, the Holy Father will stop over in Mexico City to preside at the canonisation of Juan Diego, the native Indian who in 1516 witnessed an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, known since then as Our Lady of Guadalupe. The next day the Pope will fly to Guatemala City to canonise Franciscan Tertiary Pedro de San Jose de Betancur, founder of the Bethlehem Brothers and the Bethlehem Sisters.

Padre Pio will be canonised in Rome on 16 June, and Josemaría Escrivá, founder of Opus Dei, will be canonised in Rome on 6 October.

"By his example and preaching, Blessed Josemaría has taught many thousands of people that their daily activities can bring them closer to God," commented Msgr. John Masso, the vicar of Opus Dei in Australia. "The Church, in declaring Blessed Josemaría a saint, reminds us that all men and women are called to sanctity."

The five remaining new Saints will be canonised together in Rome during a solemn Mass on 19 May. They are: Alonso de Orozco; Capuchin priest Ignazio da Santhià; friar Minor Umile da Bisignano (Luca Antonio Pirozzo); the Foundress of the Piccole suore dell'Immacolata Concezione, Paulina do Coração of Jesus in Agony (Amabile Visintainer); the Foundress of the Benedettine della Provvidenza, Sr. Benedetta Cambiagio Frassinello.

Pope to Canonise Josemaría Escrivá (Opus Dei Media Release)
Canonization of Blessed Josemaría Escrivá
Padre Pio Foundation of America