Photo: Pope Francis I (The Catholic Traveler)
Pope Francis on Sunday canonized his first saints, including Colombia’s Laura Montoya and Mexico’s Guadalupe Garcia Zavala.
A total of 802 saints were canonized by Francis, the first Latin American pontiff, during his first canonization ceremony.
Some 100,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square to see Francis canonize nun Laura Montoya y Upegui (1874-1949), Colombia’s first saint, and Mexican religious Mother Lupita (1878-1963).
The pontiff also canonized 800 Italian martyrs who died in 1480 at the hands of the Ottoman Turks for refusing to give up the Catholic faith and convert to Islam.
Pope Francis’s predecessor, Benedict XVI, set the date for the canonizations on Feb. 11, making them the new pope’s first saints and the retired pope’s last saints.