19 Stories

Thief Steals What's Left of Saint's Brain

Case containing the relic of John Bosco was stolen Friday in Italy

(Newser) - It would take someone with "profound moral misery" to do what was done on Friday, says the archbishop of Turin: A person posing as a pilgrim entered a basilica east of that city and stole a glass case that contained fragments of St. John Bosco's brain. He's... More »

This Ancient Vial of Blood Suggests 2017 Is Cursed

Saint's blood failed to liquefy, just like in 1939

(Newser) - And you thought 2016 was a rough year. Humanity is apparently in for a disaster equal to World War II or a cholera epidemic, based on an ancient vial of blood. According to legend, a woman collected the blood of Saint Januarius, or San Gennaro—the once pious bishop of... More »

Mother Teresa Will Be a Saint

Pope Francis announces her canonization will be held on Sept. 4

(Newser) - It's official: Mother Teresa will be made a saint of the Catholic Church at a ceremony on Sept. 4, reports Reuters . Pope Francis, who signed off on the missionary's second miracle in December, announced the move at a meeting of cardinals on Tuesday. Teresa died in 1997 at... More »

Pope Hailed for Blood 'Half-Miracle'

Archbishop says Francis turned saint's blood back to liquid

(Newser) - Pope Francis was credited with what could be deemed a half-miracle in Naples, Italy, on Saturday, although it didn't involve bringing anybody halfway back to life or turning water halfway into wine. Instead, the normally-solidified blood of St. Gennaro, the city's patron saint, half-liquefied when the pope kissed... More »

St. Francis Manuscripts Leaving Italy After 700 Years

Medieval artifacts are bound for US

(Newser) - When Francis of Assisi went blind after living a life of poverty, he penned his inspiring "Canticle of the Sun," Catholic Online notes. Now the manuscript that contains that writing, as well as 12 other medieval manuscripts, are heading to the US after a 700-year stay in Italy,... More »

Priests Performing Exorcisms Almost Daily in Mexico

Priests: Santa Muerta responsible for death and demons in Mexico

(Newser) - An unexpected side effect of Mexico's rampant drug violence: more exorcisms. Seven years of brutal killings have created "an infestation of demons," says exorcist Father Francisco Bautista, who sees expelling the evil spirits as the solution. Another priest and exorcist tells the BBC that exorcisms are in... More »

John Paul II Cleared for Sainthood: Vatican

Ceremony should occur this year

(Newser) - Tuesday brought the news that Pope John Paul II awaited just the final sign-off from Pope Francis before being made a saint. Three days later, that approval has come. Reuters reports that the Vatican today announced that Francis has approved the second of the two miracles needed on the road... More »

Neighbors Give Cold Shoulder to 'Hugging Saint'

New Mexico residents don't want Indian spiritual leader to have facility for gathering

(Newser) - It sounds like a plan that should be met with warm fuzzies and hugs—literally. Devotees of India's Amma, or the " Hugging Saint, " want to build a facility outside Sante Fe to house thousands of admirers for one week each summer, but neighbors are turning a cold... More »

Saint's Heart Stolen From Dublin Cathedral

Preserved heart had been on display for 800 years

(Newser) - A thief has ripped the heart of Dublin's patron saint out of one of the city's cathedrals. The preserved heart of St. Laurence O'Toole, which had been on display in Christ Church Cathedral for 800 years, was stolen over the weekend, reports AP . The relic was kept... More »

John Paul's 'Miracle' Shows Catholic Church's Hypocrisy

Michael Kinsley: If we used stem cells, we wouldn't need miracles

(Newser) - News that the Vatican has given the late pontiff John Paul II credit for a miracle related to Parkinson's leads Michael Kinsley—who has Parkinson's himself—to one conclusion: "The Roman Catholic Church has either a very good or a very bad sense of humor." After all, if... More »

Pope Canonizes 1st Aussie Saint

Mary MacKillop was excommunicated for outing pedophile priest

(Newser) - Excommunication is an interesting path to sainthood, but Pope Benedict today canonized Australia's first saint, Mary MacKillop, a nun who was once booted from the church in part for outing a pedophile priest. Thousands of Australians were in attendance at the Vatican ceremony, in which five others were also canonized,... More »

Excommunicated Aussie Nun to Become Saint

Mary MacKillop to be canonized on Oct. 17

(Newser) - Australia is about to get its first native-born saint, and it's a woman with a bit of scandal in her history. Pope Benedict will canonize Mary MacKillop, co-founder of a Catholic order dedicated to children and the poor, on Oct. 17. The somewhat unlikely candidate for sainthood had a reputation... More »

Scandal Threatens John Paul II's Sainthood

Questions swirl over late Pope's record on abuse

(Newser) - Questions swirled about John Paul II's legacy at a ceremony yesterday marking the 5th anniversary of his death. The inexplicable healing of a young French nun from Parkinson's disease had seemed like the miracle required for his sainthood. But, according to a Polish newspaper, there are now doubts the nun... More »

Pope Defends Nazi-Era Vatican

Church helped Jews in 'hidden ways'

(Newser) - Pope Benedict yesterday defended the Vatican against criticism that it did little to challenge the Nazis during World War II, saying that the Catholic church helped Jews in "hidden" ways. "Unfortunately, many remained indifferent" to the suffering of the Jews, said the German pontiff. But the Vatican "... More »

Pope Canonizes Father Damien

Belgian missionary, four others elevated to sainthood

(Newser) - Father Damien, the Belgian missionary who ministered to leprosy victims on the Hawaiian island of Molokai before contracting and dying of the disease, was canonized today. The 19th-century priest, the founder of the Little Sisters of the Poor, and three others were elevated to sainthood in a ceremony that drew... More »

'Hugging Saint' Embraces NYC

Indian spiritual leader squeezes thousands in marathon session

(Newser) - Over the past 2 days one woman has hugged more than 8,000 Manhattanites, reports the New York Times. Her name is Mata Amritanandamayi, but her followers call her Amma, or the “Hugging Saint.” She has been hugging anyone and everyone since she was a teenager in India,... More »

Beloved Italian Saint Exhumed

Padre Pio unearthed overnight to duck protests, legal challenge

(Newser) - One of Italy's most revered saints was exhumed without warning Sunday night, evading protesters and preempting a legal challenge, the Guardian reports. The body of Padre Pio was "in surprisingly good condition," said the archbishop of Puglia, where the saint's shrine draws millions of visitors every year. "... More »

Indian Guru Embraces Life

Salon pays a call on the 'hugging saint' and meditates on the Amma empire

(Newser) - A 53-year-old fisherman's daughter from Kerala, India, stands at the center of an empire of idol worship and charitable works—stands there and hugs her disciples. Amma, a mother figure revered by many as a goddess, commands a kingdom of philanthropy, volunteerism, and merchandising, Salon reports. The reporter even jumps... More »

Brazilians Gather To Hail New Saint

Pope Benedict visits Sao Paulo to canonize one of their own

(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... More »

19 Stories