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Pope Francis's eventful visit to the U.S.


Lookups spiked on September 23, 2015.


The Pope's eventful visit to the United States included the official naming of a new saint, or canonization. The Spanish priest Junipero Serra, who died in 1784, was named a Catholic saint for his missionary work in what is today California.

Canonize means "to declare (a deceased person) an officially recognized saint." The word canon comes from the Greek word that meant "measuring rod," and through Latin, where it meant "ruler," "model," or "standard." It came to mean "catalog of saints" in medieval Latin.

Other words looked up during the Pope's visit include:

pontiff, "pope" (from the Latin word meaning "bridgemaker")

nuncio, "a person who is the Pope's representative in a foreign country" (from the Latin word meaning "messenger")

nunciature, "a papal diplomatic mission headed by a nuncio"

Eucharist, "communion" (from the Greek word meaning "gratitude")

liturgy, "a fixed set of ceremonies, words, etc. that are used during public worship in a religion" (from the Greek word meaning "public service")

homily, "a usually short talk on a religious or moral topic" (from the Greek word meaning "conversation")

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