Two of the new saints have direct links to the Pacific.
One is Filippino missionary Pedro Calungsod, who died on Guam in the 17th century. The other is Marianne Cope, a 19th century Franciscan nun who cared for leprosy patients in Hawaii.
Pope Benedict called Mother Cope a "shining model" for Catholics across the world and she's been named the patron saint of outcasts.
Presenter: Geraldine Coutts
Speaker: Sister Joselle Orlando, Syracuse Sister of St Francis, New York
ORLANDO: It's exciting because I have heard of Father Damien and Mother Marianne most of my religious life, and that's over 50 years, and to know that in my life time she has been declared a saint by the Catholic Church in Rome is absolutely exciting for all of us, but for all of those who have suffered, this is a beautiful, beautiful day.
COUTTS: Now Marianne Cope is a sister of the Order of Saint Francis at the Church of Saint Mary the Assumption in Syracuse, New York, in 1862. But what's her connection to Hawaii?
ORLANDO: Mother Marianne after she was elected general provincial of our community received a letter from a Father Leonor Fouesnel from the Sandwich Islands, begging for sister nurses to come and care for the women and children at the insistence of Father Damien on the Sandwich Islands and, of course, none of the sisters in Syracuse, New York, even knew where that location was.
Mother felt it was an intriguing invitation and she had such a tremendous love for Saint Francis, who deeply cared for the sick, poor, that she felt this was a call from God. So in 1883, Mother and six other sisters who volunteered, sailed to Hawaii and went to Honolulu. Mother Marianne met Father Damien the next year and apparently he was still in good health, but within two years, Damien was diagnosed with Hansen's Disease and Mother alone gave him the hospitality to the outcast priest.
And besides her own agenda, she wanted certainly to help the women, the children, but she brought to fruition many, many other programs that Damien only envisioned and they knew each other only for about a year before he died.
Mother was called by the king and queen of Hawaii to go and establish schools in other islands. The small band of sisters was stretched. The work kept multiplying and she needed to return to Honlolulu because of the abuses that the people with leprosy were experiencing from some of the government officials.
Eventually, Marianne does go to Kalaupapa, where the new government in Hawaii now is beginning to resume its position of exiling those diagnosed with the disease and Mother will then remain there for the next 30 years.
COUTTS: But also to be canonized, you have to have at least one or two miracles. What were the miracles that were recognised?
ORLANDO: Yes, the miracles that were attributed to Saint Marianne (were) in 1992, a young high school girl named Kate Mahoney, at 14, was diagnosed with germ cell ovarian cancer and within the year, with the prayers going to Mother Marianne, Kate Mahoney was totally cured. And the other miracle is more recent. In 2005, Sharon Smith, an older woman, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and extreme infection, which was literally destroying her organs and she also was cured through the intercession of Saint Marianne.
COUTTS: Alright, and so when do the ceremonies officially take place?
ORLANDO: The ceremony has already taken place in Rome. That happened Sunday morning, this past Sunday, for you October 21st. I believe it was at 9.30 in the morning Rome time, in a very simple but beautiful ceremony when all seven candidates for sainthood were declared by the Holy Father.