The 10 new saints being created by Pope Francis on Sunday include the murder of a French man in the desert, a Dutch priest killed in a Nazi concentration camp and an Indian convert.
Thousands of people from around the world are expected to be canonized at the Vatican’s St Peter’s Square, which will be presided over by the 85-year-old pontiff.
Under Catholic Church rules, all 10 are already declared blessed, or named “blessed”, but then had to be attributed to a miracle in order to take the final step to become saints.
Most established religious orders, but new saints include Charles de Foucault, a French soldier and explorer.
He became a Catholic priest and lived among Trappist monks in Syria, in Palestine, and finally among the Tuaregs in the Algerian desert.
He was assassinated by bandits on December 1, 1916, but his deeds put an end to him and he became one of the most famous people in France.
Vatican theologians attributed de Foucault’s treatment to a cancer victim in 1984, and in 2005 he was declared blessed by Pope Benedict XVI.
His second miracle was declared in 2016 after a young French carpenter fell 15 metres.
Among the crowd on Sunday will be members of the Algerian Catholic Church, to whom de Foucault is “extremely important,” noted the Archbishop of Algiers, Jean-Paul Vesco.
“His life here turned hot,” Vesco told AFP before leaving for Rome.
Another Dutch Carmelite priest, theologian and journalist to take the step to become a saint is Titus Brandsma, who took a stand against the Nazis during World War II.
Before and after Germany’s invasion of the Netherlands in 1940, he encouraged Catholic Dutch newspapers to oppose the propaganda of the occupiers.
Brandsma was arrested in January 1942 and ended up in the Dachau concentration camp, where he died on 26 July of that year following an injection of carbolic acid.
He was declared blessed after being declared a martyr in 1985 and later found to have performed a miracle in healing a Carmelite priest.
Ahead of Mass Sunday, a group of journalists signed an open letter to Pope Francis urging him to be an official patron saint for journalists.
They “share the deep mission that has propelled journalism in modern times: the pursuit of truth and truth, promoting peace and dialogue between peoples,” he said.
According to the Vatican, Devasahyam Pillai, better known as Lazarus, would be the first Indian layman to become a saint.
A Hindu from what is now the southern state of Tamil Nadu, he converted to Catholicism in 1745 while working in the royal palace, where he met a captured Dutch commander who taught him about Christianity.
But his faith, and his preaching of the equality of all people – a revolutionary approach at the time – caused a stir and when he refused to give up his new religion, he was arrested, according to the Vatican.
After nearly three years of imprisonment and torture, during which pilgrims began to visit him, he was shot in a forest on January 14, 1752, on the orders of the king.
He was declared a martyr in 2012 and was later attributed the miracle of reviving a fetus in the 20th week of pregnancy.
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