Pope Francis arrives to lead a Mass at the church of the Parish of San Pier Damiani at Casal Bernocchi on the southern outskirts of Rome on May 21, 2017. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Remo Casilli

Pope adds 35 saints to church, nearly all martyrs

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis, who often laments current persecutions of Christians, has given the Catholic Church 35 new saints, nearly all of them martyrs, from past centuries.

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The latest saints were proclaimed Sunday (Oct. 15) during a Mass celebrated by Francis in St. Peter's Square and attended by some 35,000 faithful, many of them pilgrims from the homelands of those being honored.

Thirty martyrs, including priests and lay persons, suffered anti-Catholic persecution in 1645 at the hands of Dutch Calvinists in Brazil, while three children, ages 12 and 13 who were indigenous persons in Mexico, were martyred in the 1520s for refusing to renounce their Catholic faith and return to their ancient traditions.

The other two new saints are a 20th-century priest from Spain and an Italian priest who died in 1739.

Since becoming pontiff in 2013, Francis has repeatedly paid tribute to Christians suffering or even dying for their faith in current times, especially in the Middle East.

At the end of the canonization ceremony, Francis hailed the new saints as "shining witnesses to the Gospel." In recent decades, the church has stressed that the latest saints can serve as role models for today's Catholics.


  1. More saints! I never really got the saint bit. I realize that they are not technically “graven images”, but even as representatives, how many are needed. It seems so ana hronistic to have a patron saint of television.

  2. The very idea that humans on earth can say a few magic words, make a few passes, and suddenly, a dead person becomes a demi-god for all intents and purposes, is anachronistic.

  3. It’s a shot of adrenaline to fill the empty pews of the home country….

  4. Not at all, Nomore…..

    Romans 1:7 ESV
    To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    1 Corinthians 14:33 ESV
    For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints,

    Revelation 5:8 ESV
    And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

  5. Wrong.

    called to be saints

    Called to be doesn’t mean they automatically are.

    the churches of the saints

    You’re twisting the meaning here, far past any logical semblance of its original meaning.

    the prayers of the saints

    Referring to “the prayers of the saints” doesn’t make all Christians saints, so you’re twisting the meaning here as well.

    Being a Christian… You fail it.

  6. Thanks, but no twisting is misrepresentation, thanks.

  7. I don’t think you understood… You’re wrong. If one is Christian, one is NOT a saint already. The verses you cited do not back up your original claim.

  8. It applies to all Christian Churches except the Roman and Orthodox branches.

  9. What about those Christians who were martyred by the agents of the Roman Church on its behalf?

  10. I’m afraid she’s right. In the NT the “saints” always refer to the Body of Christ. Those sanctified by Christ and set apart for His purposes.

  11. Sandi thinks she is Jesus. She can twist a pretzel

  12. Wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that cop-out.

    So when Paul instructs his readers in Phillipi to “greet every saint in Christ Jesus” for him, how do you and “most Christian academics” surmise that one should go about determining whether one has achieved sainthood yet for the purposes of proper greeting?

  13. Disagree with the academics all you want. They’re a lot smarter than you, so no one is listening to you (or giving you a dollar) anyway. But keep shaking that cup, sweetie! 😉

  14. There are many people that Protestants view as martyrs in this category.

  15. If you don’t understand Jesus’ call to becoming a Saint-like follower of Him as the Christ, you obviously do not understand His call and have not headed His commandments. Read what He said. In His Holy Word – the New Testament – you will not find any verses that say “follow me on “twitter” it’s so convenient – or you can deny knowing me if you feel threatened by what I promise to bear as your burdens even if you are persecuted, insulted or killed. Jesus did not say “you can rely on me to break my promises or be deceitful and arrogant like politicians”. He did not say “don’t count on me to return as Judge of the dead and the living.” He is eternal – He came, He died, He rose from the dead, and He keeps His promises – He is coming again. Jesus is God – He never needed any Saints but he welcomes them all – he welcomes all who repent of their pride in themselves and trust in Him.

  16. You can’t know who is truly a Saint, until someone is declared one by the Catholic Church how saintly they are in their life-time and what miracles they have helped God accomplished with God’s inspiration and power. Why don’t you learn about the Saints from the Catholic Church or a New Testament of the Bible – after all it is the oldest Church established by Jesus since he established Christianity on the cross He was crucified on! It’s easy to find all the information at this website: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/_INDEX.HTM Jesus rose from the dead as he promised – he then called St. Peter again and directed Peter to go to Rome – Jesus inspired with His Holy Spirit – then sent the other Apostles to preach and teach in other directions. He also called aloud from heaven to Saul who was trying to persecute and kill the Christians in Galilee – He struck Saul blind – then told him to follow by way of Damascus to be baptized – then restored Saul (now Paul) to sight – who then also met St, Peter in Rome – St. Paul was also executed for refusing to deny Jesus.

  17. Can you name any of those great Saints – those doctors of the Catholic Church? For only one example, St. Joan of Arc? Yes, she was tortured to death burned at the stake, falsely accused of being lesbian, a radical feminist, a witch by agents of the English monarchy, as she was psychologically tortured and betrayed by the infamous heretic and British loyalist Bishop Cauchon, and the French King never insured she was protected by French law in place at the time, or by the Pope. But she was a soldier in the Lord’s army – imprisoned, raped, and killed for telling the truth. She was posthumously exonerated – when her so-called trial records were exposed those proved it was a mere “kangaroo court. Still all those who disbelieved either lived to regret their pride or became immensely grateful they can repent and pray for forgiveness and for St. Michael the Archangel’s help and protection also – even when facing certain death at any time.

  18. Yes Protestants have many martyrs who were saints by their believe in Christ, but the Roman Church who has invented some non-Biblical process for deciding who is a saint has failed to recognize these martyred saints. However the Roman Church exonerates its own agents who killed or ordered executions of Christians who did not bow to the Roman pope,

  19. Ablemom is Unablemom when it comes to reading comprehension.

    We were discussing Christian churches other than Catholic and Orthodox.

    It would behoove you to read the whole thread before chiming in with your unsolicited nonsense.

  20. The usual understanding of “saint” nowadays is “someone who is known to have made it to Heaven, in the immediate presence of God.”

    The Apostle Paul used the word to mean “one who is striving to follow Jesus.” In that sense, the word could be understood to be a synonym for “Christian.”

    He who defines a word controls it.

    If some leader formed a church and proclaimed that only left-handed unmarried members of that church were entitled to be called saints, he would technically be correct — but his definition would of course be seen as overly specialized.

    If two or more people are going to have a mutually-intelligible conversation, it definitely helps to know what the definitions of the words used are …

  21. Who are you referring to as “we” – I am referring to the Papal information provided me as a professing Roman Catholic, from those who evidently have been elected to that office rightly to attain the Divine Mercy of Christ and grace to act in “persona Christi” for our Lord and Saviour.

  22. “We” — as in the other commenters here, into whose conversation you inexplicably interjected your non-sequitur.

    Wow, 3 months you’ve been gone and still no progress on your reading comprehension. Perhaps it’s time to pack it in, Unablemom.

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