Canonization Dates Set for Escrivá, Padre Pio, Juan Diego

9 to Be Honored, Including 2 in Latin America

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 26, 2002 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II will proclaim nine new saints between May 10 and Oct. 6, including canonizations that will take place in Mexico and Guatemala, the Vatican announced.



The Vatican Press Office published the news today at the end of the ordinary consistory of cardinals, presided over by the Pope.

Among the future saints is Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer (1902-1975), founder of Opus Dei, who will be canonized in Rome on Oct. 6.

Padre Pio of Pietrelcina (1887-1968), the Capuchin friar of the stigmata, will be canonized in Rome on June 16.

At the end of Toronto´s World Youth Day, the Holy Father will travel to Mexico to canonize Juan Diego, the Indian who saw the apparitions of Guadalupe in 1531. That canonization will take place July 30.

The following day, John Paul II will land in Guatemala, to celebrate the holiness of Pedro de San José de Betancur (1626-1667), born in the island of Tenerife off Spain. Betancur was the apostle of prisoners and patients in the Guatemalan capital, and founder of the Bethlemite Hospitallers.

Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro-Valls confirmed that on May 19 two nuns will be proclaimed saints in Rome: Pauline of the Agonizing Heart of Jesus (1865-1942), Italian-Brazilian founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception; and Benedetta Bambiagio Frassinello (1791-1858), Italian founder of the Congregation of Benedictine Religious of Providence.

On the same day, the Pope will canonize Alonso de Orozco (1500-1591), preacher of Charles V, emperor of Spain and Germany; Ignazio da Santhia (1686-1770), Italian Capuchin religious; and Umile da Bisignano (1582-1637), Reformed Franciscan and famous confessor.