Francis declares 35 new saints at Vatican canonisation mass

Vatican City: Pope Francis on Sunday declared 35 new saints during a canonisation mass in the Vatican.

Among those being declared saints included the three “Child Martyrs of Tlaxcala (Mexico)”, who were killed between 1527-1529 for converting to Roman Catholicism, as well as 30 Brazilians known as the “Martyrs of Natal”, who were killed in 1645 at the hands of Dutch Calvinists.

Pope Francis also canonised two others at Sunday’s ceremony — a Spanish priest called Faustino Miguez (1831-1925) who was the founder of the Daughters of the Divine Shepherdess, and Italian priest Angelo da Acri (1669-1739).

The ceremony began with Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato, presenting canonisation requests to Pope Francis before reading a biography for each saint-to-be.

The Pope then went on to declare the 35 saints, speaking in Latin, and the relics of the new saints were taken to an altar.

Hundreds of Mexicans from Tlaxcala attended the mass to witness the event.

The three children who became saints were called Cristobal, Juan and Antonio, aged between 12 and 13 years old, and would become the patrons of Mexican childhood.

Pope John Pall II beatified the trio in Mexico on May 6, 1990, and the Brazilian martyrs on March 5, 2000, in the Vatican.