SALESIAN BOYS CHEER THEIR SAINT
AGREAT and very special cheer thundered over St. Peter's Square on Saturday evening when the Holy Father proclaimed five new saints.
The special cheer came from thousands of teachers and boys from all the Salesian schools in Italy greeting the name of St. Dominic Savio, son of a blacksmith and one of St. John Bosco's first students.
St. Dominic, who died at the age of 15, is the first schoolboy to be proclaimed a saint and the youngest to be canonised other than boy or girl martyrs.
St. Dominic, who died on March 9, 1857, received his first Holy Cornmunion when he was seven years old an exceptionally early age in those days. Pope St, Pius X is believed to have had him in mind when he decreed that children should be allowed to receive Holy Communion as soon as they came to the age of reason.
The other new saints are :
St. Peter Chanel, the first martyr of Oceania, a Marist missionary. He arrived on the Island of Fatuna in the Tongo Archipelago in 1837. when it was well known as a centre of cannibalism. One of its last kings was said to have given a state banquet with 15 human bodies served to the guests,
St. Peter Chanel himself related that he shook hands with an old man who had cooked both his parents for celebrations with his friends.
In three years. however, the saint converted practically the whole population. Cannibalism disappeared hut some pagan priests remained, and on April 28, 1841, when the missionary was alone in his hut, a group of savages attacked and killed him with a hatchet.
St. Joseph Mary Pignate111, son of a noble Spanish family and the first reorganiser of the Society of Jesus in Italy. When the society was banned in Spain, he led 600 Jesuits first to Civita Vecchia and later to Corsica and Ferrara. After Pope Clement XIV had suppressed the society in 1773, St. Joseph lived in Bologna with his brother, also a Jesuit. for over 20 years.
At the age of 60 he ,was able to renew his religious proTession, and in the newly constituted society he became the link between the old and the new, eventually becoming Provincial in Naples and Rome.
He died on November 15, 1811,
St. Gaspare del Bufalo, founder of the Missioners of the Precious Blood, who was exiled from Rome after the invasion of the Napoleonic troops, He died. a victim of cholera, on December 28. 1837. Pope St. Pius X beatified him in 1904.
St, Maria Crocitissa di Rosa, a well to do Italian woman who founded the Handmaids of Charity. who now have more than 300 convents in various countries. The congregation arose out of her work for the victims cif cholera. St. Maria died on December 15, 1885.
The Holy Father on Saturday named the days of their deaths. as their feast days.
His Holiness, preceded by a iOrlp. procession of clergy and accompanied by the Papal Court and 25 Cardinals, came into the Square at 5.30 p.m. to the stirring music of the silver trumpets end the cheers of more than 103,000 people.
All the five saints were named together in the one infallible proclamation, and all were shown together in the tapestry unveiled from the balcony of St. Peter's.
Once more. as on the canonisation day of Pope Pius X. the proclamation was followed by a great chorus of voices giving thanks in the "Te Deum," the "announcement" by the hells of St. Peter's, and the jubilant ringing of the bells of all the churches of Rome.
The Canonisation Pontifical Mass was celebrated in the presence of His Holinesson Sunda s morning in St. Peter's hy the Dean of the Sacred College, Cardinal Tisserant.
This lime. instead of two tapestries depicting the miracles approved in the canonisation cause, the people saw 10 tapestries illustrating the two miracles approved in each of the five
ght of the people whose cures were ie attributed to the intercession of one or other of the five saints attended the canonisation.