Pope Francis canonizes 7 saints, including fellow Argentinian ‘gaucho priest’

VATICAN CITY, Oct. 17 (UPI) — Pope Francis canonized seven saints in Vatican City’s St. Peter’s Square on Sunday during mass, including a fellow Argentinian known as the “gaucho priest.”

Known for traveling by mule to minister to the poor in remote areas, Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero was canonized after being credited by the Catholic Church for performing at least two posthumous miracles, including one in which a baby healed after its head was crushed in a car accident.

Brochero, whose beatification occurred in 2013, was blinded after contracting leprosy. He died in 1914. At least 80,000 people attended mass in which Francis said the seven new saints were canonized because of “the Lord who triumphs in them and with them” even as each one “struggled to the very end with all their strength.”

“They remained firm in faith, with a generous and steadfast heart. Through their example and their intercession, may God also enable us to be men and women of prayer,” the pontiff said during mass.

The pope canonized Mexican Jose Sanchez del Rio; Spanish Bishop Manuel Gonzalez Garcia; Salomone Leclerq, killed after refusing to renounce his faith during the French Revolution; and Italian priests Lodovico Pavoni and Alfonso Maria Fusco, Catholic News Service reported.

Others also canonized include Jose Sanchez del Rio, a Mexican boy who was killed when he was 14 years old for refusing to renounce his faith during Mexico’s Cristero War in the 1920s, and French nun Elizabeth of the Trinity.

Francis, 79, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His papacy began in 2013.

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