Pope proclaims 19 new saints
Pope Benedict XVI has authorised the proclamation of 19 new saints and blesseds, the first such decree of his papacy which began in late April.
The Daily Telegraph reports that the list named two future saints, a Polish priest from the 15th century and an Italian nun from the 16th century. The number of blesseds included nine Italians, three Germans, three Spaniards, a Dutchman and an Indian.
The Indian priest, Agostino Thevarparampil, who died in 1973, was the most recent person to be named a blessed. 13 others were also from the 20th century.
The process of recognising the saints and blesseds, either for their heroic actions or martyrdom or intercession in a miracle, was begun by the late John Paul II.
Benedict has confirmed all the sainthoods and beatifications begun by the late pope, with one exception. Earlier this year, he cancelled the expected beatification of a Frenchman, Leon Dehon (1843-1925), a Catholic social thinker whose anti-Semitic writings had initially escaped the notice of the review commission.
Benedict has already launched the process of beatification for John Paul II, bypassing the canon law that traditionally requires waiting five years after a candidate's death to open the process.
Pope proclaims 19 new saints (Daily Telegraph 21/12/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Congregation for the Causes of Saints
Decrees of the congregation for the causes of saints (Vatican Information Service 20/12/05)
Castro wants Pope to visit Cuba: cardinal (Reuters 20/12/05)
Real Christmas gift is bringing joy to others, not gifts, pope says (Catholic News Service 19/12/05)
Riots in France showed youths' frustration, pope says (Catholic News Service 19/12/05)
Pope will visit Italian workers' creche (Catholic World News 20/12/05)
Pope urges Taize community to follow founder's vision (Catholic World News 20/12/05)
Castro wants Pope to visit Cuba (Catholic World News 20/12/05)
Pope's death was top religion story of 2005, say US journalists (Ecumenical News International 20/12/05)
Pope Says Secularity Means a Separation of Powers (Zenit 19/12/05)
French Riots Require a Positive Reply, Says Benedict XVI (Zenit 19/12/05)
Pope's Address to International Theological Commission (Zenit 19/12/05)
Papal Call for Peace in Address to Ambassadors (Zenit 19/12/05)
21 Dec 2005