VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict XVI has added seven more saints onto the roster of Catholic role models as he tries to rekindle the faith in places where it’s lagging.
Two are Americans: Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint from the US and Mother Marianne Cope, a 19th century Franciscan nun who cared for lepers in Hawaii.
Native Americans in beaded and feathered headdresses sang songs to Kateri as the sun rose over St Peter’s Square this morning.
Also on hand for the Mass was Sharon Smith, whose cure from complications from pancreatitis was deemed a “miracle” by the Vatican, paving the way for Mother Marianne to be canonised.
Pilgrims from around the world attended the Mass and cheered when Benedict, in Latin, declared each saint worthy of veneration by the church.