Francis has been complaining of strained ligaments in his right knee for months and was recently seen in a wheelchair at public hearings. Sunday’s ceremony was proof that Francis is still able to walk, but seems to be taking as easy as possible to let the ligaments heal before a period of intense travel from July: the Vatican confirmed two trips that month, one in Congo and one in South Sudan and one in Canada.
It was the first canonization mass at the Vatican since before the coronavirus pandemic and, aside from Easter celebrations last month, drew one of the biggest crowds in St. Peter’s Square in recent times.
The Italian president, the Dutch foreign minister, the French interior minister and India’s minorities minister, along with tens of thousands of worshipers filled the sunny square, which was adorned with Dutch flowers in l honor of Reverend Titus Brandsma, a holy martyr. killed at Dachau concentration camp in 1942.
In the run-up to canonization, a group of Dutch and German journalists officially proposed that Brandsma become co-patron of journalists, alongside Saint Francis de Sales, given his work fighting propaganda and fake news during the rise of fascism and Nazism. in Europe. According to an open letter sent to Francis this month, reporters noted that Brandsma successfully advocated for a ban on the printing of Nazi propaganda in Catholic newspapers. There was no immediate response from the pope.