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Pope praises family life in canonization of married couple

By Andrew V. Pestano
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Bishops attend a holy mass for the canonization of four new saints in St. Peter's Square in the Vatican. Photo by Stefano Spaziani/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/4bd907d9ba7292c97999956dd8a93afe/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Bishops attend a holy mass for the canonization of four new saints in St. Peter's Square in the Vatican. Photo by Stefano Spaziani/UPI | License Photo

VATICAN CITY, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Pope Francis praised the effect of a positive family life during the first canonization of a married couple in the modern area.

During a service Sunday in St. Peter's Square, Francis said service for God's will in all aspects of life was the best method to exercise authority in the Catholic Church. He declared sainthood to four new saints: Louis Martin and Marie Azelie Guerin, the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux; Vincenzo Grossi, a priest who spent most of his life helping the poor in Italy; and Mari­a Isabel Salvat Romero, a 20th century nun from Spain.

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St. Therese of Lisieux, who was declared a saint in 1925 and was a French nun, is one of the church's most revered saints for her writings on faith and simplicity. She died of tuberculosis at the age of 24 in 1897.

"The holy spouses Louis Martin and Marie-Azélie Guérin practiced Christian service in the family, creating day by day an environment of faith and love which nurtured the vocations of their daughters, among whom was Saint Therese of the child Jesus," Francis said. "The radiant witness of these new saints inspires us to persevere in joyful service to our brothers and sisters, trusting in the help of God and the maternal protection of Mary. From heaven may they now watch over us and sustain us by their powerful intercession."

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During Francis' visit to the United States, he spoke of the importance and significance of families at the World Meeting of Families event in Philadelphia.

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