Brazilians Gather To Hail New Saint

Pope Benedict visits Sao Paulo to canonize one of their own
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2007 7:39 AM CDT
Pope Benedict XVI looks at fireworks during an event at the Pacaembu soccer stadium in Sao Paulo, Thursday, May 10, 2007. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Up to a million spectators will flock to Sao Paulo today to see Pope Benedict XVI canonize the first saint born in Brazil. Friar Galvao, a Franciscan monk who died in 1822, wrote Latin prayers on slips of rice paper that he rolled into "pills," which appeared to cure diseases. Followers still take the pills at a Sao Paulo monastery.

Huge crowds are expected at the pope's appearances in Brazil, the largest Catholic nation in the world. His preaching against abortion, which the country bans, has already generated controversy. Yesterday at a Sao Paulo stadium, young people attending a rally began chanting "yes to life, no to abortion" as the pontiff took the stage.