VATICAN CITY – Four people, including a 19th-century woman who founded a religious community in Indiana and a Mexican bishop whose body reportedly did not decay after death, will be elevated to sainthood this fall, the Vatican said Saturday.
Pope Benedict XVI announced the Oct. 15 canonization of Mother Theodore Guerin, Bishop Rafael Guizar Valencia and two others during a ceremony in the Apostolic Palace that centered on the reading of decrees approving sainthood for beatified faithful.
Guerin was a French nun who left her homeland in 1840 for the-then frontier state of Indiana, where she founded St. Mary-of-the Woods College near Terre Haute within a year of her arrival. She died in 1856 at age 57.
This spring, the nun's order, the Sisters of Providence, said that Benedict XVI had approved a miracle — the regaining of eyesight by an employee at the order's mother house — attributed to Guerin's intercession.
Guerin was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1998. One miracle is needed for beatification. After beatification, another miracle is required to move forward on the path to canonization.
Guizar Valencia, who also is being made a saint, was known in life for his piety and kindness to the poor,
He was born April 26, 1878, and cared for the wounded and dying in Mexico's 1910-17 revolution. Named bishop of Veracruz, he was driven out of his diocese and was forced to live in hiding in Mexico City.
His body was exhumed in 1950, 12 years after his death, and witnesses said it had not decayed.
Also being canonized are two Italians: Filippo Smaldone, founder of the Salesian order of nuns known for his work with deaf-mutes; and Rosa Venerini, (1656-1728) who founded a religious teaching community.
Benedict named five new saints Oct. 23, which was his first canonization ceremony since becoming pontiff.
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.
Benedict is known to have approved the start of only one new cause since his April 19, 2005, election: that of John Paul himself.