Pope to celebrate Mass of Thanksgiving for Canadian Saints
(Vatican Radio) At a press conference today at the Vatican, Cardinal Gerald Lacroix, Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada, said two new Canadian saints “were centred on what is essential in life: love, truth, the giving of one self to others, and especially to the most needy of our brothers and sisters.”
St Francois de Laval and St Marie de l’Incarnation were granted “equipollent” canonization by Pope Francis in April, along with Jesuit Saint Jose de Anchieta from Brazil. On Sunday, Pope Francis will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving for the canonizations of the two Canadian saints, having previously celebrated a Thanksgiving Mass for St Jose. Cardinal Lacroix will be the principal concelebrant at Sunday’s Mass.
“This is how our country was born,” Cardinal Lacroix said at Saturday’s press conference. “When these two saints travelled from France to Nouvelle-France, with many other men and women, they were filled with a great desire to love the Lord, make him known to all people, and build a society on the values of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. . We continue to believe that this is a proposal that our modern world, and our post-modern world, needs to navigate in the troubled waters of our times.”
Listen to Cardinal Lacroix’s remarks in English at Saturday’s press conference at the Holy See Press Office:
Speaking with Vatican Radio’s Christopher Wells after the press conference, Cardinal Lacroix said “We’re so happy that Pope Francis has invited us to celebrate with him a Mass of Thanksgiving for St Francois de Laval, our first bishop, now recognized as a saint; and St Marie l’Incarnation, Ursuline nun and a wonderful woman who helped sustain la Nouvelle-France as it was beginning.” He said the celebration of these two saints from Canada “is really a moment of universality, meeting the universal Church, and sharing our joy with the world!”
Cardinal Lacroix said both St Francois de Laval and St Marie de l’Incarnation speak to us today. “Pope Francis told me,” he said, “when he decided to canonize them, how important it was for him to give us these models of the first evangelization, because as we look at their lives and their spirit, and what moved them, what was in their heart – the courage, the audacity, the fire of the Holy Spirit, that’s what we need today!”
Listen to Cardinal Lacroix’ interview with Christopher Wells: