A story lost: Who are the new saints Pope Benedict announced?

The Pope’s announcement about the resignation overshadowed the other reason for the consistory, that is, saints will be canonized.

From VIS:

Vatican City, 11 February 2013 (VIS) – This morning at 11:00am in the Consistory Hall of the Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father presided over an ordinary public consistory for the canonization of the blesseds:
Antonio Primaldo and Companions, martyrs, (1480);
Laura di Santa Caterina da Siena Montoya y Upegui (1874 -1949), virgin, foundress of the Congregation of the Missionaries of Mary Immaculate and St Catherine of Siena; and
Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala, co-foundress of the Congregation of the Handmaids of St Margaret Mary (Alacoque) and the Poor.

During the course of the consistory, the Pope decreed that blesseds Antonio Primaldo and his companions, Laura di Santa Caterina da Siena Montoya y Upegui and Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala be inscribed in the book of saints on Sunday, 12 May 2013.

Who were these people?

– Antonio Primaldo and Companions, martyrs, (1480) –

On 14 August 1480, 800 men were slaughtered by Muslims in Puglia, sourthern Italy.  They were exhorted by Antonio, the only one whose name we know, to stand firm and persevere in Christ. See the story HERE.

– Laura di Santa Caterina da Siena Montoya y Upegui

She gave up her dream of being in a Carmelite convent to be a missionary in South America and work with the native peoples.  More HERE.

– Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala

Co-foundress, worked with the poor in Mexico during the persecution of the Catholic Church.  More HERE.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Many thanks! I had been wondering who were being canonized (and why the details were not reported together with the reference to the fact), but had not yet set myself to find out!

  2. Traductora says:

    Thank you! This is a very interesting insight.

    Personally, I’d love to see a Latin American as the next Pope, simply because Latin America is a place where many things are being played out in the West: the conflict between Marxism and free markets, between statism and free peoples, and between Islam and Christianity. The Muslims are snapping up converts in Latin America, mostly former Catholics who had converted to Protestantism and are now moving on to Islam, but some Catholics as well.

    But when you look back at their history of faith and martyrdom, you realize that there’s a different story there. BXVI obviously saw it.

    Still, I’m not sure any Latin American cardinal is up to this. Thanks to the influence of the US and Spain (both hotbeds of Liberation Theology), Latin America was completely undermined and is just now beginning to recover. I have heard Sandri (Argentina) mentioned; Maradiaga (Honduras) has also been mentioned, but I don’t think he has the knowledge of Rome to do it.

    Actually, the Pope doesn’t have to be drawn from the cardinals. What about the head of Opus Dei? I believe there is a precedent ( although I’ll have to look it up) for religious or their equivalents being elected. Of course, Celestine V was a religious…

  3. Gus Barbarigo says:

    The Italian martyrs likely saved Europe, or at least bought, with their lives, siginifcant time until the next onslaught. The Mexican nun served the freedom fighters in Mexico during the anti-Catholic repression (the topic of the excellent recent film, “For Greater Glory”). The stories of these saints are frightening relevant to our issues today.

    Also, on a lighter note, the media loves to recount how many hundreds of saints Bl.JPII canonized. God willing, we will have a (new) Peter by the canonization date on May 12th; with the canonization of 800 men at once, the new Pope could well set the record! That said, it’s a shame BXVI won’t be doing the canonization of the Italians, because of their zeal (shared by His Holiness) in defending Catholic Europe.

  4. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    When reading about Antonio Primaldo and Companions, and 11 February, St. Berard and his Companions (16 Jan., canonized 1481) and St. John of Matha (8 Feb.) came to mind. Looking up 11 February, I encountered St. Benedict of Aniane, who (in the words of Donald Attwater) “was a religious reformer in every direction and throughout his life he manitained the rigorous austerity of his earlier years.”

    Thinking of St. Catherine of Siena’s neglected advise to Gregory XI and Urban VI made me want to know more about the Blessed Laura’s reasons for her own and herCongregation’s name.

Comments are closed.