21/10/2012 11:30 BST

Vatican Names Seven New Saints In Ceremony In St Peter's Square (PICTURES)

The Vatican has held a ceremony to name seven new saints including the first Native American to ever be beatified.

Led by Pope Benedict XVI, the special mass marks the start of a new drive by the Catholic church to deepen the spirituality of followers in a "Year Of Faith".

In order to qualify for sainthood a nominee must be recognised as responsible for a miracle. Seventeenth-century Native American Kateri Tekakwitha has been recognised as saving the life of a child who was suffering from a flesh-eating bacterium.

Other figures being beatified include a Spanish nun, a German preacher and a French Jesuit who was executed in Madagascar.