St. Louis pilgrms relish in sacrifices they made to attend canonization

From getting up at 4 a.m. to braving the crowds in and around St. Peter's Square, the sacrifices they made were well worth it, said St. Louis pilgrims who went to Rome to witness the canonization of Sts. John Paul II and John XXIII.

A miracle links a saint and the Shrine of St. Joseph

Shrine of St. Joseph

Miraculous is a word often tossed around lightly, but in the case of Ignatius Strecker, a German immigrant living in St. Louis in the mid 19th century, the word has the weight of Vatican authentication.

Strecker's cure of injury and illness was accepted as a miracle for the canonization cause of St. Peter Claver, a 17th-century Spanish Jesuit who ministered to black slaves. The miracle occurred 150 years ago at what is now the Shrine of St. Joseph in north St. Louis. The shrine is planning to mark the anniversary with a Mass on March 16.

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Pope proclaims sainthood of Jesuit companion of St. Ignatius

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis issued a decree declaring one of his favorite Jesuits, Blessed Peter Faber, a saint.

The decree is what the Vatican terms an "equivalent canonization," in which the pope inserts the name of the new saint in the universal calendar of saints without verifying a miracle performed through his intercession and without holding a formal canonization ceremony.

All Saints, All Souls feasts are time to renew hope, pope says

VATICAN CITY -- At the end of the feast of All Saints, just before the sun set, Pope Francis celebrated an outdoor Mass at Rome's Verano cemetery and urged Christians to hang on to hope as they reflect on the promise that earthly life ends with eternal life in heaven.

In his homily at the evening Mass Nov. 1, Pope Francis set aside his prepared text, looked out at the thousands of people gathered between long lines of tombs and told them, "We reflect and think about our own future and about all those who have gone before us and are now with the Lord."

Building a habit of prayer for poor souls

St. Mary of Perpetual Help Parish office manager Bev Clements, left, brought the gifts to the altar during Communion preparation during the All Souls’ Day Mass. Father Mark Bozada, right, celebrated the Mass at the cemetery while Nathan Smith, center, was the altar server.

A small procession of parishioners carrying materials for Mass wound out of St. Mary of Perpetual Help Church in Villa Ridge. Led by a cross, the group crossed the quiet two-lane Highway Am into the cemetery, where they gathered around a large stone altar to celebrate Mass on All Souls' Day.

About 40 people attended the Mass, celebrated by the parish pastor, Father Mark Bozada. It was part of the culmination of a 100-day novena for the poor souls in purgatory. The novena began July 26 on the feast of Sts. Joachim and Ann.

Who was St. Thérèse?

Born in 1873 in Alençon, France, Marie Francoise Thérèse Martin was the youngest of nine children to Louis and Zélie Martin.

In her childhood, she had a box to save her money for a special collection for the Society of the Propagation of the Faith.

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