Pope Benedict XVI canonized five new saints Sunday, including Portugal’s 14th century independence leader and a nearly blind Italian monk who died of the plague after tending to the sick.
Benedict presided over the ceremony in a packed St. Peter’s Square, decorated with tapestries featuring pictures of each of the five. He praised each as a model for the faithful and said their lives and work were as relevant today as they were some 700 years ago.
Benedict singled out the Rev. Arcangelo Tadini, who lived at the turn of the last century and founded an order of nuns to tend to factory workers at the dawn of the industrial era. Tadini also created an association to provide emergency loans to workers experiencing financial difficulties.