The first is St. Narcisa de Jesu Martillo Moran (1832-1869) of Ecuador. As young laywoman, she felt the call to sanctity at an early age and was focused on a path of holiness which she lived from the time of her confirmation. Pope Benedict said this in his homily on Oct. 12, 2008, the day of her canonization:
"To assist with docility the action of the Holy Spirit in her soul, she always sought the counsel and guidance of good and expert priests, considering spiritual direction as one of the most effective means to reach sanctity. Despite the abundant and extraordinary graces she received, her life developed in great simplicity, dedicated to her work as a seamstress and her apostolate as a catechist. In her passionate love for Jesus, that brought her to embark on a path of intense prayer and mortification, she offers us an inviting testimony and a polished example of a life totally dedicated to God and neighbor." (ZE081012)
The second is St. Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception (1910-1946) of India. She is the first female saint of India to be canonized! Pope Benedict also has wonderful words for her:
"'He will swallow up death for ever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces' (Is. 25:8). These words of the prophet Isaiah contain the promise which sustained Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception through a life of extreme physical and spiritual suffering. This exceptional woman was convinced that her cross was the very means of reaching the heavenly banquet prepared for her by the Father. She wrote, 'I consider a day without suffering as a day lost.' May we imitate her in shouldering our own crosses so as to join her one day in paradise."
The third saint canonized on Oct. 12, 2008 was St. Maria Bernarda Butler (1848-1924), originally of Switzerland, and then missionary to Ecuador and Colombia. Pope Benedict says this:
"In the midst of the serious adversities that she had to face, including exile, she carried engraved on her heart the exclamation from the Psalm we heard today: 'Though I walk through dark valleys, I fear no evil, for thou art with me.' (Psalm 23:4). In this way, docile to the Word of God and following the example of Mary, she did as the servants of the Gospel that we heart: She went in every direction proclaiming that the Lord invites all to his banquet." (ZE081012)
These are just brief excepts from the homily of that day, and I highly encourage you to go to the Vatican website and check out the full description of these amazing womens' lives.
I am grateful that God truly does "raise up saints in every generation," and I hope that through their intercession we can all continue down the paths God has given to us!