Pope OKs canonization for Sri Lanka's 1st saint

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Pope OKs canonization for Sri Lanka's 1st saint
Pope Francis delivers his speech during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, May 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis gestures in St.Peter's square at Vatican during his weekly general audience on March 5, 2014. Pope Francis has defended the Catholic Church's record on tackling the sexual abuse of children by priests, saying 'no-one else has done more' to root out paedophilia. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis waves at faithfuls upon his arrival at St.Peter's square for the weekly general audience on March 5, 2014. The pontiff today has defended the Catholic Church's record on tackling the sexual abuse of children by priests, saying 'no-one else has done more' to root out paedophilia. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis smiles as he wear a military Alpine hat upon his arrival at St.Peter's square for the weekly general audience on March 5, 2014. The pontiff today has defended the Catholic Church's record on tackling the sexual abuse of children by priests, saying 'no-one else has done more' to root out paedophilia. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis (L) shakes hand with the Spanish Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela (R) during an audience at the Vatican on March 3, 2014. AFP PHOTO / OSSERVATORE ROMANO RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT 'AFP PHOTO / OSSERVATORE ROMANO' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS (Photo credit should read OSSERVATORE ROMANO/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis exchanges gifts with the Prime Minister of Romania Victor Ponta (R) as his wife and European Parliament Member Daciana Sarbu (L) looks on during a private audience in the pontiff's studio at the Vatican on March 1, 2014. AFP PHOTO / POOL / ALESSANDRA TARANTINO (Photo credit should read ALESSANDRA TARANTINO/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis greets a child dressed up as a pope as he arrives for his general audience in St Peter's square at the Vatican on February 26, 2014. AFP PHOTO / OSSERVATORE ROMANO. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT 'AFP PHOTO / OSSERVATORE ROMANO' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS (Photo credit should read OSSERVATORE ROMANO/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis greets the crowd as he arrives for his general audience in St Peter's square at the Vatican on February 26, 2014. AFP PHOTO / VINCENZO PINTO (Photo credit should read VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis kisses a boy as he arrives for his general audience in St Peter's Square at the Vatican on February 26, 2014. AFP PHOTO / VINCENZO PINTO (Photo credit should read VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - FEBRUARY 24: Pope Francis (C) meets the president of the Republic of Haiti, Michael Joseph Martelly at his private library on February 24, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican. The Pope announced February 24, first overhaul of the Vatican bureaucracy in 25 years. (Photo by Vatican Pool/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - FEBRUARY 21: Pope Francis arrives at the Paul VI Hall for the Extraordinary Consistory on the themes of Family on February 21, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican. Pope Francis will create 19 new cardinals during his first consistory on February 22, 2014. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - FEBRUARY 21: Pope Francis greets cardinals as he arrives at the Synod Hall for the morning session of Extraordinary Consistory on the themes of Family on February 21, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican. Pope Francis will create 19 new cardinals during his first consistory on February 22. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
Pope Francis hold the gospel as he celebrates mass together with new appointed cardinals in St Peter's basilica at the Vatican on February 23, 2014. Pope Francis create his first batch of cardinals, with 19 coming from South America, Africa and Asia. The new 'princes of the Church' with scarlet-red birettas and gold rings at a grandiose ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica that Vatican observers say should help correct a perceived bias towards European cardinals. AFP PHOTO / VINCENZO PINTO (Photo credit should read VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis salutes the crowd as he arrives for his general audience in St Peter's square at the Vatican on February 19, 2014. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis is welcomed by faithfuls while arriving for a visit to the parish of San Tommaso on the outskirts of Rome on February 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis is welcomed by faithfuls while arriving for a visit to the parish of San Tommaso on the outskirts of Rome on February 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - FEBRUARY 14: Pope Francis waves the crowd during a Valentine's Day celebration at the St Peter's square in Vatican City, Vatican, on February 14, 2014. Almost 20.000 couple gather to celebrate Valentine's Day at the St Peter's square. (Photo by Evren Atalay/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Pope Francis listens to a speaker delivering his message translated in different languages during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis is greeted by faithful as he arrives for his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis sits at a table with Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou N'Guesso on the occasion of their private audience in the pope's library at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Tony Gentile, pool)
Pope Francis prays in front of the statue of the Virgin Mary, on the occasion of the Immaculate Conception feast, in Rome, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
A decorated Christmas tree is seen in the foreground as Pope Francis delivers his message during the Angelus noon prayer from his studio window overlooking St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013. The pontiff is scheduled to pray in front of the statue of the Virgin Mary in downtown Rome on the occasion of the Immaculate Conception feast later in the afternoon. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Fernando Canini, director of Rome's Wax Museum fixes a new skull-cap as he puts the finishing touches to the wax statue of Pope Francis, in his laboratory in Rome Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Pope Francis wax statue will be put on display, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis kisses a child in St. Peter's Square during the weekly general audience at the Vatican, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
FOR USE AS DESIRED, YEAR END PHOTOS - FILE - Pope Francis waves to the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Francis is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, presents Pope Francis with a Menorah during their meeting at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 2, 2013. Netanyahu is on a visit to Italy, which include a meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, Pool)
Pope Francis leaves at the end of a Mass on the occasion of his visit to the Parish Church of St. Cirillo Alessandrino, in Rome, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Pope Francis is cheered by faithful upon his arrival at the Parish Church of St. Cirillo Alessandrino, in Rome, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis meets a group of sick children, suffering from tumor, who came to meet him from Poland, at the Vatican, Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)
Pope Francis waves to faithful at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013. Francis has cheered the thousands of pilgrims who braved a cold snap belting Italy to attend his weekly general audience, saying they were courageous to come out. Francis himself was bundled up in a white double-breasted winter coat and scarf, but it wasn't enough. He had to use his sleeves as a muffler to keep his hands warm amid temperatures that on Wednesday dipped to freezing with the wind chill factored in. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis grabs a shirt thrown to him by faithful as he leaves at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013. A chilly Pope Francis has cheered the thousands of pilgrims who braved a cold snap belting Italy to attend his weekly general audience, saying they were courageous to come out. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis, right, and Paraguay's President Horacio Cartes talk during a private audience at the Vatican, Monday, Nov. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Vincenzo Pinto, pool)
In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis bends to kiss an icon of the Madonna, given to him by Russian President Vladimir Putin, standing beside him, on the occasion of their private audience at the Vatican, Monday, Nov. 25, 2013. Putin and Francis met privately for 35 minutes Monday evening in the pope's private library. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)
Pope Francis exchange gifts with Prime Minister of Bosnia-Herzegovina Vjekoslav Bevanda during a private audience at the Vatican, Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 (AP Photo/Stefano Rellandini, pool)
In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano Pope Francis is presented with a jersey reading his name during a meeting with FIFA president Joseph Sepp Blatter, left, at the Vatican Friday, Nov. 22, 2013. "We spoke the same language and it was language of football," Blatter said during a press conference following the meeting, ' It was really a meeting between two sportsmen and two football fans."(AP Photo/L' Osservatore Romano, ho)
Pope Francis celebrates a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Nov. 15, 2013. Pope Francis canceled his morning audiences Friday because of a cold, the first time the industrious pope is known to have slowed his busy schedule due to illness. The Vatican said the 76-year-old pontiff, who lost most of one of his lungs due to an infection in his youth, took the morning off to rest at his Vatican hotel. He kept his afternoon appointment, however, presiding over the ordination of a new bishop in St. Peter's Basilica. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
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VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis has signed off on Sri Lanka's first saint, bending Vatican rules to bypass confirmation of a miracle.

Francis is expected to canonize the Rev. Giuseppe Baz, a 17th century missionary, during his January visit to Sri Lanka.

Vaz was born in India in 1651 but chose to work in Sri Lanka amid persecution of Catholics by Dutch colonial rulers, who were Calvinists. He is credited with having revived the Catholic faith in the country.

The Vatican said Wednesday that Francis approved the decision by the Vatican's saint-making office to canonize Vaz. The process was the same Francis used to canonize St. John XXIII without a second miracle attributed to his intercession.

Francis has waived Vatican saint-making rules on several occasions and has promised to give Asia more saints.
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