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New saint featured in St. Francis of Assisi Church
October 15, 2018 9:43 AM

Yesterday in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City, Pope Francis named seven new saints and one of them has been pictured in St. Francis of Assisi Church for 55 years.

Shortly after Pope Paul VI was elected on June 21, 1963, a redecorating was planned for St. Francis of Assisi Church with Moroder-International (Milwaukee, WI). Stanislaus Estkowski, the lead artist, was to paint a mural of the new pope above the altar canopy along with the two preceding Popes: John XXIII, Pius XII and Saint Peter.

Saint Pope Paul VI oversaw the closing of the Church's pivotal Second Vatican Council, and issued the landmark encyclical that cemented the church's opposition to birth control. "On July 25, 1968, Pope Paul VI stunned Catholics around the world with his announcement of Humanae Vitae, "Of Human Life," a document in which he forcefully reaffirmed the church's previously stated position on the use of artificial birth control, calling it "intrinsically wrong." "'We are obliged once more to declare that [methods for] the direct interruption of the generative process,' the pope wrote, '... are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children.'

"Humane Vitae came as a surprise to many Vatican observers. Though an encyclical issued in 1930 already prohibited birth control, a papal commission had been assembled to revisit that ban, and a majority of the commission members suggested that it be dropped."

The Vatican calls Paul VI the "pope of modernity" for his influence on changes in "liturgy, seminary formation, theological study, and many other areas of ecclesiastical life."

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