Pope Francis recognizes miracle needed to declare Mother Teresa a saint

Pope Francis has approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Teresa of Kolkata, thus paving the way for her canonization. Blessed Teresa is pictured in a 1995 photo.

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis has approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Teresa of Kolkata, thus paving the way for her canonization.

Pope Francis signed the decree for Blessed Teresa's cause and advanced three other sainthood causes Dec. 17, the Vatican announced.

Saint's relics prompt reflection on God's mercy

Relics of St. Maria Goretti ad St. Peter Cathedral in Belleville, Ill.

Father Anthony Gerber held a precious gift on the visit to St. Peter Cathedral in Belleville, Ill.

Given to him by the Discalced Carmelite Sisters for his ordination in May 2011, the gift is a small monstrance, gold in color, about six-inches tall and containing a first-class relic of St. Maria Goretti.

Canonizing four saints, pope urges people to serve others with joy

A tapestry showing Louis and Zelie Martin, parents of St. Therese of Lisieux, hung from a balcony as Pope Francis leads the Oct. 18 Mass for their canonization in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. Pope Francis also canonized Spanish Sister Maria of the Immaculate Conception, a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Company of the Cross, and Italian Father Vincenzo Grossi, founder of the Institute of the Daughters of the Oratory.

VATICAN CITY\ -- Pope Francis called on people to replace their thirst for power with the joy of quiet and humble service, as he proclaimed four new saints, including the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux. All of Christ's disciples, especially its pastors, are called to model themselves after Jesus and "suppress our instinctive desire to exercise power over others, and instead exercise the virtue of humility."

St. Rita parishioners honor their patron saint

To celebrate the patroness’ feast day, St. Rita Parish in Vinita Park places a statue of St. Rita near the altar and roses are brought from around the community to surround it. Betty Hermann, left, directed her granddaughter, Molly, to place a single rose at the foot of the St. Rita statue. “I’m glad to be a part of St. Rita Parish. St. Rita has been a very special saint to me because I pray to her for my family, because she was a woman of faith,” said Hermann.

On a sunny May morning, St. Rita Parish in Vinita Park was abloom with roses parishioners had brought to church in honor of their patroness' feast day.

The churchgoers placed their flowers around a statue of St. Rita, as they do on May 22 each year.

This year, Father David Wichlan, pastor of St. Rita, supplemented the array with a relic of the saint.

"If you want to kiss it after Mass, you may do so," Father Wichlan said in his homily, "just kiss it like this and say 'St. Rita, I love you.'"

Faith is expressed in charity, unity, pope says at canonization Mass

Devotees presented a relic of new St. Mary of Jesus Crucified at the canonization Mass for four new saints celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican May 17. The pope canonized four 19th-century nuns: Marie-Alphonsine and Mary of Jesus Crucified, both from historic Palestine; Jeanne Emilie De Villeneuve from France; and Maria Cristina Brando from Italy.

VATICAN CITY -- Declaring four 19th-century women religious saints, Pope Francis said they are models for all Christians of how faith, nourished in prayer, is expressed concretely in acts of charity and the promotion of unity.

The new saints, proclaimed at a Mass May 17 in St. Peter's Square, included two Palestinians -- Sts. Marie-Alphonsine, founder of the Rosary Sisters, and Mary of Jesus Crucified, a Melkite Carmelite -- as well as French St. Jeanne Emilie de Villeneuve and Italian St. Maria Cristina Brando.

Little Flowers and Blue Knights celebrate Advent with feast of St. Lucy

Alexandrina Weingart, 12, dressed as St. Lucy for a Feast of St. Lucy procession Dec. 16 at Epiphany of Our Lord Church in south St. Louis. The Little Flowers Catholic Girls Club and the Blue Knights Boys Club celebrated the saint’s feast, which was Dec. 13.

Advent brings to mind those opportunities of celebrating in joyful anticipation of the birth of Christ: St. Nicholas Day, the feast of the Immaculate Conception -- and the feast of St. Lucy.

A group of boys and girls celebrated St. Lucy's feast at Epiphany of Our Lord Church in south St. Louis Dec. 16 as part of their regular meeting of the Little Flowers Girls' Club and Blue Knights Boys' Club.

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