Lviv Churchmen To Be Canonized

Pope Benedict XVI is to declare five people saints next month and another 17 candidates are to be beatified soon - an indication that the Vatican's saint-making machine shows no sign of letting up under the new pontiff.

Benedict himself will preside over his first saint-making ceremony, canonizing the five in St. Peter's Square on Oct. 23, Vatican Radio reported Sept. 5.

Among the five is Josef Bilczewski, the Polish archbishop of Lviv, Ukraine, who was greatly admired by Catholics, Orthodox and Jews alike during World War I, Vatican Radio said. The archbishop's life spanned the time during which Lviv was under Polish control, after which it reverted back to Ukraine.

Also being canonized is a priest from Lviv, Rev. Zygmunt Gorazdowski, who founded the Congregation for the Sisters of St. Joseph to care for the sick and poor. A Chilean Jesuit, the Rev. Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga, and Italians Felice da Nicosia, a Franciscan lay brother who lived in the 1700s, and the Rev. Gaetano Cantanoso, who founded a religious order, will also be canonized.

Vatican Radio also announced 17 people would be beatified in October and November. Benedict, however, has broken with the practice of Pope John Paul II and has designated cardinals or lower-ranking prelates to stand in for him during the beatifications.

Beatification is the last step before possible sainthood and is designed to allow for local veneration. As a result, several of the beatifications are scheduled to be held locally, though others will be held in Rome.

Among the 17 are Cardinal Augusto Von Galen, who was bishop of Muenster, Germany during the 1930s. He was called the "Lion of Muenster" because of his courage in opposing the Nazis and will be beatified Oct. 9, Vatican Radio said. Eight "martyrs" from the Spanish Civil War will be beatified in St. Peter's on Oct. 29, Vatican Radio said.

The following week, Eurosia Fabris, a widower, will be beatified in Vincenza, Italy on Nov. 6. Three of her nine children became priests. On Nov. 13, three more people will be beatified at St. Peter's, including Charles de Foucauld, who was born into an aristocratic family but chose to live a monastic life in northern Africa and founded a religious order.

On Nov. 20, four Mexican martyrs will be beatified in Guadalajara, Vatican Radio said.

During his 26-year pontificate, John Paul canonized 482 people and beatified 1,338 - more than all his predecessors over the past 500 years combined.


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