This week Pope Francis recognized as saints three people who can essentially be credited for founding the Church on the American continent: Francois de Laval, Marie of the Incarnation, and Jose de Anchieta. Francois de Laval was a French missionary who became the first Bishop of New France and laid the foundations for what is today Laval University. Marie of the Incarnation was a French Ursuline nun whose vocation took a somewhat winding road. She was married young, widowed, and when her son was 12 finally entered the convent. She is considered the “Mother of the Church” in Canada. Jose de Anchieta was a Spanish born, Jesuit missionary who was sent to Brazil where he founded what is today Sao Paolo. All three were builders of the church in the places they were sent, and serve as models of how the church and a local culture can interact positively. Laval and Marie de L’Incarnacion both learned about the culture and languages of the native people of New France. De L’incarnacion actually compiled an Algonquin dictionary and translated prayers and catechetical texts into Huron and Algonquin. The educational institutes both saints founded were open to both the European and Native people. Laval’s also turned his attention to the exploitation of the Native people being carried out by European merchants and pushed for a prohibition on the liquor trade. He also excommunicated anyone who dared sell or trade liquor with the Native people. Similarly, in Brazil Jose de Anchieta took such a great interest in the culture of the Native people of his region that today some consider him the first anthropologist. All three saints laid the foundations not just for the church, but for society on the American continent. Laval’s seminary and training schools evolved into what is today Laval University. De l’incarnacion’s Ursuline order was a key element in Quebec’s education system and De Anchieta established what is today the city of Sao Paolo. With these three saints it can safely be said that the American continent -like Europe - is built on a Christian foundation that should not be forgotten. *** Details were released this week about the events surrounding the canonization of John Paul II and John XXIII. As previously reported, ticket will NOT be required to attend the Mass. The city of Rome has said it is expecting around 3 million people to come to Rome for the canonizations - far beyond the capacity of St. Peter's Square and Via della Conciliazione. Jumbo screens will be set up at these location in Rome to allow everyone to watch the canonization: Via dei Fori Imperiali (Screens here will be installed on Good Friday and remain in place until after the canonizations. The area will also be pedestrian-only ) Piazza Navona Piazza del Popolo Rome's subway will run 24 hours throughout the canonization weekend, and the main bus line from Termini station to St. Peter's will also run 24 hours. Unlike the 2011 beatification of John Paul II, there will not be a vigil the night before the ceremony. There will be a youth gathering on April 22 at the Basilica of St. John Lateran.