Welcome to Starting Seven, The Pillar’s new weekday newsletter.
I’m Luke Coppen and I aim to guide you each morning to the most interesting Catholic news and comment.
📜 Today’s readings: Gal 4:22-24, 26-27, 31–5:1 ▪ Ps 113:1B-2, 3-4, 5A & 6-7 ▪ Lk 11:29-32.
😇 Today’s saint: St. Francis Borgia.
🗞 Starting seven
2: Pope Francis has expressed his “spiritual closeness” to victims of a gas station explosion in Ireland.
3: Vatican foreign minister Archbishop Paul Gallagher has said that war is “a totally unsuitable tool for resolving international conflicts.”
6: John Allen asks “whether an African pope is possible.”
🇻🇦 Today’s Bollettino
Papal audiences with Archbishop Tommaso Valentinetti of Pescara-Penne, Italy; Alfredo Del Mazo Maza, Governor of the State of Mexico; Dritan Abazović, Prime Minister of Montenegro (communiqué); Róbert Vass, President of GLOBSEC; Fr. Maroun Chidiac, superior of the Maronite Monastery of the Mother of God, in Pofi, Italy; Youth pilgrimage from Belgium (address); Pilgrims gathered for the canonization of St. Giovanni Battista Scalabrini (address).
Resignation of 76-year-old Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera of Valencia, Spain, accepted, succeeded by Bishop Enrique Benavent Vidal of Tortosa; Resignation of 59-year-old Bishop Valerio Lazzeri of Lugano, Switzerland, accepted; Resignation of 75-year-old Sydney auxiliary Bishop Terence John Gerard Brady accepted.
🔄 Weekend round-up
On Saturday, Oct. 8, Pope Francis met with participants in a Centesimus Annus Pro Pontefice Foundation conference and addressed Salesian pilgrims gathered for the canonization of Artemide Zatti. He received in audience Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops; Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen, Germany, and a delegation from the Aeroclub of the Republic of San Marino.
🧐 Look closer
The Church’s newest saints Pope Francis presided at the canonization of two new saints on Sunday. At a Mass in St. Peter’s Square, the pope declared Giovanni Battista Scalabrini (1839-1905) and Artemide Zatti (1880-1951) saints.
Who are they? Scalabrini and Zatti had several things in common, noted Courtney Mares at CNA.
“The two saints were both born in Italy in the 19th century and ministered to others amid the massive emigration of hundreds of thousands of Italians each year at the turn of the 20th century,” she wrote.
Scalabrini founded the Missionaries of St. Charles and the Mission Sisters of St. Charles to serve Italian emigrants in the New World, while Zatti migrated at the age of 16 from Italy to Argentina, where he entered the Salesians and worked as a pharmacist, cycling to visit the sick.
What did the pope say? In his canonization homily, Pope Francis said that the new saints “remind us of the importance of walking together and being able to give thanks.”
“Bishop Scalabrini, who founded two congregations – one male and one female – for the care of emigrants, used to say that in the shared journeying of emigrants we should see not only problems, but also a providential plan … The emigration currently taking place in Europe is causing great suffering and forcing us to open our hearts – that is the emigration of Ukrainians who are fleeing from war. Let us not forget the beleaguered Ukrainian emigrants,” the pope said.
Pope Francis said that Zatti “devoted his entire life to serving others, caring for the infirm with tender love.”
“He was said to have carried on his shoulders the dead body of one of his patients. Filled with gratitude for all that he had received, he wanted to say his own ‘thank you’ by taking upon himself the wounds of others,” he commented.
What’s the context? Pope Francis was forced to pause canonizations by the coronavirus crisis. He canonized 10 blesseds, including Charles de Foucauld, on May 15 this year. It was the first canonization since October 2019. He now seems to be returning to his previous tempo.
According to Wikipedia’s count, Pope Francis has canonized 911 people since his election in 2013, but 813 of these belonged to the group known as the Martyrs of Otranto. Benedict XVI canonized 45 saints during his almost eight-year pontificate, while John Paul II canonized 482 saints over 27 years.
🔍 Stories to watch
🇦🇹 Cardinal Schönborn has ordained 10 new permanent deacons for the Archdiocese of Vienna (German report).
🇲🇿 A Catholic bishop has said that northern Mozambique is now experiencing “a new style of warfare.”
📅 Coming soon
Oct. 12 The Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences’ General Conference begins in Thailand; Feast of Bl. Carlo Acutis.
Oct. 18 Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi turns 80.
Oct. 19 Trial of Cardinal Joseph Zen due to resume; Anniversary of Bl. Jerzy Popiełuszko’s death.
Have a blessed feast of St. Francis Borgia