Canon fodder: Pope Francis has declared a record number of saints
Pope Francis has declared more saints than any other pope. His Holiness has conducted more canonizations than Pope John Paul II did in 27 years. Wednesday afternoon, Pope Francis declares Blessed Junipero Serra, a Franciscan Friar known for starting nine Spanish missions in California in the 1700s, a saint. It's his 835th canonization in 932 days.
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Francis first handed down the Catholic Church's most prestigious recognition shortly after his appointment in March 2013 by declaring 813 saints in one fell swoop. His decision to canonize St. Antonio Primaldo and his 812 companions might appear excessive, but it continued a tradition: Pope John Paul's mass canonization of 120 people in October 2000 was one of several during his papacy, and Pope Paul VI recognized 40 saints in a single ceremony in October 1970.
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