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Pope Benedict XVI will today canonize seven new saints, four women and three men. From RomeReports.com:

Among the new saints, are two martyrs: Jacques Berthieu (1838-1896), who was killed in Madagascar and Peter Calungsod, who was killed in the Philippines in 1672. 

Two others dedicated their life to teaching education: Carmen Sallés (1848-1911) was a pioneer in women's education and Giovanni Piamarta Battista (1841-1913) taught marginalized youths a marketable trade. 

The three other saints offered their pain and suffering to God. Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680) was a Native American woman who helped the sick, even as she dealt with her own illness.  Mother Marianne Cope (1838-1918) worked with lepers in Hawaii. Anna Schäffer (1884-1925) was sick most of her adult life. Despite being  bedridden, through her words and letters she inspired people far beyond her native Germany. 

Earlier this year, Brian O'Neel wrote about the two American saints-to-be for Catholic World Report. He pointed out that the news about Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha and Blessed Marianne Cope was notable for several reasons:

For starters, it was the first time the list had more Americans on it than those from other nations. 

Second, it marked the first time the list had more than one American (two people and both New Yorkers, no less). 

And, finally, it marked the first time the Church had marked a Native American for canonization. 

The Americans in question are Bl. Marianne Cope and Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha, the better known of the two. As just one example of the fervor with which the news out of Rome was met, “The bells have been ringing here all morning,” said Rev. Mr. Ron Boyer, deacon at the parish in Kahnawake, Quebec, Canada, the village where Bl. Kateri died. 

Just who were these remarkable women? 

Read his entire article to learn more about these two new Saints. 

 
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Carl E. Olson is editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight.
 
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