Catholics and Anglicans celebrate new Canadian saints together

 — Oct. 14, 201414 oct. 2014

On the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday, Pope Francis celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving for two new Canadian saints: St. François de Laval and St. Marie de l’Incarnation. The two were made saints in April when Pope Francis set aside the normal process. The two were significant in spreading Catholicism in New France, both among the French settlers and the indigenous peoples. Laval (1623-1708) was the first bishop of Québec. Marie de l’Incarnation (1599-1672), an Ursuline sister, was responsible for establishing the first schools in the fledgling colony at Québec and for extending education to girls and natives. Pope Francis has described the new saints as models of spreading the faith.

“Missionaries have gone out to call everyone, in the highways and byways of the world,” Francis said in his homily. “In this way they have done immense good for the Church, for once the Church stops moving, once she becomes closed in on herself, she falls ill, she can be corrupted, whether by sins or by that false knowledge cut off from God which is worldly secularism.”

Pope Francis was joined in the celebration by a Canadian delegation including Cardinal Gérald Lacroix, Laval’s 24th successor as archbishop of Québec and his Anglican counterpart, Bishop Dennis Drainville of Québec. The Anglican Church of Canada includes both of these saints in its liturgical calendar. Lacroix and Drainville have taken a number of ecumenical steps together. On Saturday, they participated in a press conference in Rome in which they highlighted the ecumenical significance of the two churches sharing in a celebration of these saints who were founders of Québec. Also participating in the press conference was Cynthia Ann Patterson, wife of Bishop Drainville. She said St. Marie de l’Incarnation was “a great role model for women today. She was a single working mom,” she said. “She was widowed at a young age (19) and had a little boy. She had to work to support her family, and her letters are rich in the social history of the women at the time as well as her spirituality. She was doing that juggling that we women do,” Patterson said.

On a humorous note, veteran Vatican reporter John L. Allen Jr. quipped: “I may be wrong, but I don’t recall a previous occasion when a bishop brought his wife to a Vatican press conference.”

Posted: Oct. 14, 2014 • Permanent link:
Categories: NewsIn this article: Anglican, Canada, Catholic, ecumenism, Pope Francis, saints
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Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : Anglican, Canada, Catholic, ecumenism, Pope Francis, saints

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