Pope Canonizes 2 Saints From 19th-Century Palestine

Pope FrancisOn Sunday Pope Francis decided to canonize two nuns who lived in Palestine for reasons you’ll see in the article. Evidently these women were examples of “mercy, charity and reconciliation” which means they were “good people.” To canonize someone is to make him/her a saint.  The article brings to light that one of them “is said to have received the “stigmata” – bleeding wounds like those that Jesus Christ suffered on the cross.” I’ve covered Catholic mysticism in many of my articles, so it came as no surprise that one of the nuns was a mystic — many Catholic clergy engage in mysticism.  What I want to address is the RCC’s belief that their pope’s have the authority to declare people saints. This is ridiculous, as the Bible is clear that all born again Christians are saints.  Here are three examples:

Acts 9:32: “Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda.”

Romans 16:15: “Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.”

1 Corinthians 1:2: “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours…”

So as you can see, Scripture clearly teaches that a saint is anyone who has put his/her faith in Jesus Christ.

Here’s the piece by the Associated Press:

Pope Francis canonized two nuns from what was 19th-century Palestine on Sunday in hope of encouraging Christians across the Middle East who are facing a wave of persecution from Islamic extremists.

Sisters Mariam Bawardy and Marie Alphonsine Ghattas were among four nuns who were made saints Sunday at a Mass in a sun-soaked St. Peter’s Square. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and an estimated 2,000 pilgrims from the region, some waving Palestinian flags, were on hand for the canonization of the first saints from the Holy Land since the early years of Christianity.

Church officials are holding up Bawardy and Ghattas as a sign of hope and encouragement for Christians across the Mideast at a time when violent persecution and discrimination have driven many Christians from the region of Christ’s birth.

They were canonized alongside two other nuns, Saints Jeanne Emilie de Villeneuve from France and Maria Cristina of the Immaculate Conception from Italy.

“Inspired by their example of mercy, charity and reconciliation, may the Christians of these lands look with hope to the future, following the path of solidarity and fraternal coexistence,” Francis said of the women at the end of the Mass.

Bawardy was a mystic born in 1843 in the village of Ibilin in what is now the Galilee region of northern Israel. She is said to have received the “stigmata” – bleeding wounds like those that Jesus Christ suffered on the cross – and died at the age of 33 in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, where she founded a Carmelite order monastery that still exists.

Ghattas, born in Jerusalem in 1847, opened girls’ schools, fought female illiteracy, and co-founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Rosary. The order today boasts dozens of centers all over the Middle East, from Egypt to Syria, that operate kindergartens, homes for the elderly, medical clinics and guest houses.

In his homily, Francis praised Bawardy as having been “a means of encounter and fellowship with the Muslim world,” while Ghattas “shows us the importance of becoming responsible for one another, of living lives of service to one another.”

“Their luminous example challenges us in our lives as Christians,” he said.

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