Some 80,000 pilgrims in flowered lei, feathered headdresses and other traditional garb flooded St. Peter’s Square on Sunday as Pope Benedict XVI added seven more saints onto the roster of Catholic role models in a bid to reinvigorate the faith in parts of the world where it’s lagging.
Two of the new saints were Americans: Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint from the U.S., and Mother Marianne Cope, a 19th century Franciscan nun who cared for leprosy patients in Hawaii.
It seemed as if a third saint, Pedro Calungsod, a 17th century Filipino teenage martyr, drew the biggest crowd of all, with Rome’s sizeable Filipino expat community turning out in flag-waving droves to welcome the country’s second saint.
I have never been real big on saints and the only one I would have choose for sainthood was Mother Teresa. Now I realize one of the requirements of obtaining sainthood has to do with some miracle involved but I choose her because I have always heard about her unselfishness and she lived very simply as opposed to many a preacher I see who surround themselves with wealth and worldly goods.