Canonization rite changed to preserve integrity of Mass, monsignor says
By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY - In a continuing effort to preserve the integrity of the Mass and highlight the meaning of a canonization, when Pope Benedict XVI declares seven new saints Oct. 21, the ceremony will look different than it has in the past.
Monsignor Guido Marini, master of papal liturgical ceremonies, said the change will mark another step in Pope Benedict’s efforts to remove from the papal Mass elements that are not strictly part of the liturgy, in accordance with the teaching of the Second Vatican Council.
Earlier, the pope stopped giving new cardinals their rings during Mass; and in June he started the practice of giving new archbishops a pallium - a woolen band around their necks - before the entrance antiphon of the Mass.
In a similar way, beginning Oct. 21, the canonization rite will take place before Mass begins.
“Canonization is basically a canonical act” through which the pope exercises his ministry to teach and to legislate, Monsignor Marini told L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, Oct. 16.
“In effect, a canonization is a definitive sentence through which the supreme pontiff decrees that a servant of God, already listed among the blessed, is to be inscribed in the catalogue of saints and venerated in the universal church,” the monsignor said.
“The authority exercised by the pope in a canonization sentence will now be even more visible through the use of certain ritual elements,” particularly through the pope’s triple invocation of God’s help in making such an important decision, he said.
Monsignor Marini said the distinction between the canonization rite and the celebration of the Mass is meant to respond to the Second Vatican Council’s call for the “splendor of the noble simplicity” of the Mass to shine forth.
The seven women and men who will be proclaimed saints with the new ceremony are:
- Blessed Marianne Cope of Molokai, who led a group of sisters from New York to the Hawaiian Islands in 1883 to establish a system of nursing care for leprosy patients.
- Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, a Native American who was born in upstate New York and died in Canada in 1680 at the age of 24.
- Blessed Peter Calungsod, a lay catechist from the Philippines who was martyred April 2, 1672, in Guam.
- Blessed Jacques Berthieu, a Jesuit who was born near Polminhac, France, and was martyred June 8, 1896, in Ambiatibe, Madagascar.
- Blessed Giovanni Battista Piamarta, an Italian priest and founder of the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth for men and the Humble Servants of the Lord for women. He died in 1913.
- Blessed Carmen Salles Barangueras, the Spanish founder of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. She died in 1911.
- Blessed Anna Schaffer, a lay German woman who wanted to be a missionary, but could not because of a succession of physical accidents and diseases. She died in 1925.
Copyright (c) 2012 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops