Pope canonises José de Anchieta SJ

A Spanish Jesuit missionary has been declared a saint by Pope Francis. José de Anchieta (1534 –1597) was one of the founders of São Paulo, in 1554, and Rio de Janeiro, in 1565. He was a highly influential figure in Brazil's history in the first century after a Portuguese fleet discovered it in 1500 and subsequently colonised it.

Born in the Canary Islands where he continues to be celebrated, Anchieta was involved in the catechesis and conversion to the Catholic faith of the Indian population in Brazil. His efforts at brokering peace with the Indians, together with another Jesuit missionary, Manuel da Nóbrega, were crucial to establishing stable colonial settlements in the new colony. He was Brazil’s first playwright and is known as the father of Brazilian literature.

His canonisation was announced by Pope Francis on 2 April 2014 under the process known as an "equivalent canonization".

Read more about St José de Anchieta here.