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Report: Pope to canonize 3 saints in April by ‘equivalent canonization’

March 20, 2014

Pope Francis recently told a group of Spanish bishops that he would canonize three saints by equivalent canonization on April 2, according to a report on a Spanish diocesan website.

The three are Blessed José de Anchieta (1534-97), a Spanish Jesuit missionary to Brazil; Blessed Marie of the Incarnation (1599-1672), who introduced the Ursuline order in Canada; and Blessed François de Laval (1623-1708), the first bishop of Quebec.

In equivalent canonization-- a procedure described by Pope Benedict XIV in the eighteenth century-- the Pope waives the usual judicial process and declares that a blessed’s liturgical cult is extended to the universal Church. Pope Benedict canonized St. Hildegard of Bingen by equivalent canonization in 2012, and Pope Francis canonized St. Angela of Foligno and St. Peter Faber by equivalent canonization in 2013.

“Equivalent canonization, though not frequent, is not rare in the Church,” Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, said in a December interview. “The best known are Gregory VII, Gertrude of Helfta, Peter Damian, Cyril and Methodius, John Damascene, the Venerable Bede, Albert the Great, Thomas More, John of Avila.”


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