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On October 14, Pope Francis canonized seven new saints, including Pope Paul VI, who led the Church from 1963 to 1978, and Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was assassinated while celebrating Mass in 1980. Brief biographies of them and the other new saints are available here.

In his homily, the Holy Father said:

Clockwise from top left: Maria Katharina Kasper; Vincent Romano; Francesco Spinelli; Nunzio Sulprizio; Nazaria Ignazia of Saint Teresa of Jesus.

Today Jesus invites us to return to the source of joy, which is the encounter with him, the courageous choice to risk everything to follow him, the satisfaction of leaving something behind in order to embrace his way. The saints have travelled this path.

Paul VI did too, after the example of the Apostle whose name he took. Like him, Paul VI spent his life for Christ’s Gospel, crossing new boundaries and becoming its witness in proclamation and in dialogue, a prophet of a Church turned outwards, looking to those far away and taking care of the poor. Even in the midst of tiredness and misunderstanding, Paul VI bore witness in a passionate way to the beauty and the joy of following Christ totally. Today he still urges us, together with the Council whose wise helmsman he was, to live our common vocation: the universal call to holiness. Not to half measures, but to holiness. It is wonderful that together with him and the other new saints today, there is Archbishop Romero, who left the security of the world, even his own safety, in order to give his life according to the Gospel, close to the poor and to his people, with a heart drawn to Jesus and his brothers and sisters. We can say the same about Francesco Spinelli, Vincenzo Romano, Maria Caterina Kasper, Nazaria Ignazia of Saint Teresa of Jesus, and also our Abruzzese-Neapolitan young man, Nunzio Sulprizio: the saintly, courageous, humble young man who encountered Jesus in his suffering, in silence and in the offering of himself. All these saints, in different contexts, put today’s word into practice in their lives, without lukewarmness, without calculation, with the passion to risk everything and to leave it all behind. Brothers and sisters, may the Lord help us to imitate their example.

Mazzolini Artcraft has been designing and sculpting statues of saints in a variety of media for more than 100 years. Examples include two other modern-era saints, Pope St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Calcutta (fiberglass with bronze finish); St. Kateri Tekakwitha (wood); St. Joseph the Worker (bronze); St. Anthony of Padua (marble); and St. Louis Bertrand (bronze). We’ve also created non-traditional works like a wooden wall sculpture depicting Francis of Assissi’s vision of Christ.

For information on commissioning a statue, contact John Mazzolini at john@mazzoliniartcraft.com or 888-437-4499.