VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis advanced the sainthood causes of 10 men and women, including the Argentinian “gaucho priest,” Blessed Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero, known for his ministry to the sick and the dying.

The pope also recognized the martyrdom of Justo Takayama Ukon, a 17th-century Japanese samurai who died shortly after he was exiled to the Philippines for being Catholic.

During a meeting Jan. 21 with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, the pope also signed a decree recognizing a miracle attributed to Blessed Jose Sanchez del Rio, a 14-year-old Mexican boy martyred for refusing to renounce his faith during the Cristero War of the 1920s.


In recognizing the miracle attributed to Blessed Brochero, the pope has cleared the way for him to become Argentina’s first saint. Pope Francis has expressed his admiration for the priest, saying that he was a man who “did not stay in the sacristy combing the sheep.”

In addition, he recognized a miracle attributed to Polish Blessed Stanislaus Papczynski, founder of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception. He was born in 1631 and died in Poland in 1701.

As in the case of the Argentina’s “gaucho priest,” the miracles in the causes of Blessed Papczynski and Blessed Sanchez prepare the way for their canonizations. Final approval, and a date or dates for the ceremonies, will at a consistory with Pope Francis and cardinals in Rome.

Clearing the way for beatification ceremonies, Pope Francis also recognized miracles attributed to Italian Father Francesco Maria Greco, founder of the Little Workers of the Sacred Heart, who died in 1931, and Elisabetta Sanna, an Italian widow and mother, who died in 1857.

The other decrees approved by Pope Francis Jan. 21 recognized:

— The martyrdom of Czech-born Father Engelmar Unzeitig, a member of the Marianhill Missionaries. He was born in 1911 and died in the Dachau concentration camp in 1945.

— The martyrdom of Spanish Father Genaro Fueyo Castanon and 3 lay companions who were killed during the Spanish Civil War in 1936.

— The heroic virtues of Italian Capuchin Father Arsenio da Trigolo, founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of Mary the Consoler. He was born in 1849 and died in 1909.

— The heroic virtues of Maria Velotti, founder of the Adoration Sisters of the Holy Cross. She was born in 1826 and died in 1886 in Casoria, Italy.