The Catholic Church has canonized as saints 33 martyrs and two priests from Brazil, Mexico, Spain and Italy.
Pope Francis declared the ‘Blessed’ saints of the Church on Sunday at a Canonization Mass held at Rome’s St. Peter’s Square.
The new saints include 30 so-called “Martyrs of Natal”, who were killed in 1645 in a wave of anti-Catholic persecution by Dutch Calvinists in Natal, Brazil.
Another group of three indigenous martyrs from Mexico – Cristobal, Antonio and Juan – known as the “Child Martyrs of Tlaxcala” will also be canonized.
Aged between 12 and 13, the children were among the first indigenous Catholics of Mexico who were killed between 1527 and 1529 for refusing to renounce their faith and return to their ancient traditions.
Among the new saints were two European priests. One of them is Spanish Piarist Father, Manuel González, the founder of the Daughters of the Divine Shepherdess, or the Calasanzian Institute. He died in 1925.
The other is Italian Cappuchin priest, Angelo da Acri, who died in 1739.