Two women with strong ties to upstate New York are among seven new saints approved by Pope Benedict XVI.
That puts the Blessed Marianne Cope and the Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha on track to be canonized next year.
Cope was a Syracuse Franciscan sister who cared for leprosy patients in Hawaii in the late 1880s. She'd previously taught and helped establish the first two hospitals in central New York in the 1860s.
Tekakwitha was a Native American baptized in 1676 in the Mohawk Valley. She fled to a mission in Canada after being scorned and threatened in her home village near what is now the village of Fonda.
Benedict signed decrees Monday approving miracles attributed to the intercession of the women and five others, the last obstacle to their canonizations.