Pope Benedict XVI has approved the canonization of seven new saints, including the first Native American. While he has not officially called for their canonization, the pope recognized a miracle attributed to each one of them.
The seven include:
- Italian Giovanni Battista Piamarta, born in 1841 and founder of two religious orders.
- French Jesuit priest Jacques Berthieu, shot to death in Madagascar in 1896 for defending Christianity.
- Spanish nun Mary of Mount Carmel, who founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception in 1892.
- Marianne Cope, the nun who in 1888 traveled to Hawaii to help Father Damien of Molokai in the care of leprosy patients.
- American Indian Katherine Tekakwitha, who in 1676 was marginalized by her tribe after converting to Christianity
- Pedro Calungsod will be the second saint in Philippine history. He was martyred in 1672 for defending missionaries when he was a teenager.
- Germany's Anna Schäfer, who in 1901 suffered burns on her legs, causing her to be bedridden for 24 years. During this time, she offered her pain for the salvation of souls.
The pope is expected to call for the canonization of these saints in the fall.