Pope Benedict marked the 85th World Mission Sunday by canonizing three saints in St. Peter’s Square.
Two of the saints were Italian – Archbishop Guido Maria Conforti of Parma, who also founded the Xaverian Missionaries and Father Luigi Guanella, the founder of of the Servants of Charity and the Institute of the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence. One was Spanish, Sister Bonifacia Rodriguez de Castro, founder of the Congregation of the Servants of St. Joseph.
In his homily on the Gospel of the day (Matthew 22:34-40), Pope Benedict said love of neighbour is “the visible sign that the Christian can show the world to witness God's love.”
"How providential is then the fact that today the Church should indicate to all members three new saints who allowed themselves to be transformed by divine love, which marked their entire existence,” said Pope Benedict. “In different situations and with different charisms, they loved the Lord with all their heart and their neighbour as themselves so as to become a model for all believers.”
The Pope called on all people to be drawn by their examples, and to be guided by their teachings, so that their entire existence becomes a witness of authentic love for God and neighbour.
After reciting the Angelus at the end of Mass, he asked everyone to pray to the Virgin Mary for the October 27th meeting in Assisi scheduled to be attended by leaders of world religions and non-religious personalities in search of peace. It is marking the 25th anniversary of a similar meeting in the same town called by Blessed John Paul II.