Pope Francis celebrates the 400th anniversary of the first collective canonisation in history

The five Saints canonised by Pope Gregory XV on 12 March 1622 are considered important names in the history of the Catholic Church.


Vatican City (12/03/2022 13:37, Gaudium Press) This coming Saturday, March 12, Pope Francis will preside over a solemn Holy Mass in the Church of Gesù in Rome to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first collective canonization in history.

The five Saints canonised by Pope Gregory XV on March 12, 1622, are considered important historical figures for the Catholic Church: St Ignatius of Loyola, St Francis Xavier, St Teresa of Avila, St Philip Neri and St Isidore.

Two important Jesuit Saints: Saint Ignatius and Saint Francis Xavier

Among these Saints are two Jesuits: St Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), founder of the Society of Jesus; and St Francis Xavier (1506-1552), missionary and one of St Ignatius’ first companions.

This Holy Mass is also part of the celebrations of the Ignatian Year, which began on 20 May 2021 and will last until 31 July 2022, with which the Society commemorates the 500th anniversary of the conversion of St Ignatius of Loyola.

Two Other Holy Founders of Religious Orders: Saint Theresa and Saint Philip Neri

Two other Saints are founders of Religious Orders of great relevance: Saint Teresa of Jesus, also known as Saint Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), religious and mystic, founder of the Discalced Carmelite nuns; and Saint Philip Neri (1515-1595), nicknamed “The Apostle of Rome” and “The Saint of Joy”, priest and founder of the Oratorians.

The least known of the group is Saint Isidore, a farmer from Madrid who devoted himself to charity and prayer. In reality, he was the only one who would be proclaimed saint that day, however, as in January of that year the process of canonization of the other four Blessed was almost concluded, the then Congregation of Rites decided to give life to a “multiple” event, the first in history.

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Mass will be concelebrated by the superiors of the religious orders involved

The Holy Mass will be presided by Pope Francis at 5pm (Rome time) and concelebrated by the superiors of the religious orders involved: Father Miguel Márquez Calle OCD (Discalced Carmelites); Father Michele Nicolis CO (Oratorians); Father Mìceàl O’Neill OCarm (Carmelites); Father Arturo Sosa SJ (Jesuits) and the Archbishop of Madrid (Spain), Cardinal Carlos Osoro Sierra.

Considered as the main temple of the Society of Jesus, the Church of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, or Church of Gesù, conserves in its interior the tomb with the remains of St Ignatius of Loyola. (EPC)


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