Category Archives: Sainthood causes

Father Paul Wattson’s sainthood cause moves ahead

TheFr Wattson causes of US saints is a key part of this blog. Not long ago, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints granted the Archdiocese of New York the nihil obstat regarding the Cause of the Servant of God, Father Paul of Graymoor.

Receiving the nihil obstat means that there’s nothing in the Vatican archives to prevent the Cause from moving ahead. Next is for Timothy Cardinal Dolan to officially open the diocesan investigation into the life, virtue and work of Father Paul. This phase is expected to happen later in the year. In June 2014, Wattson was given the title of Servant of God and in November 2014 the US Bishops voted to advance the cause.

The Friars have known Father Paul as the Apostle of Christian unity and charity.

The Friars are in the process of developing Guild to support the Canonization of Father Paul Wattson. The address: PO Box 300, Garrison NY 10524.

At the conclusion of the lengthy diocesan study of the life and holiness of Father Paul will produce the positio, a formal argument for a Servant of God’s canonization. The positio includes a systematic biography of the Servant of God, a summary of testimony and an essay on Father Paul’s spirituality.

Becoming a saint is not a quick and easy process.

Venerable Andrey Roman Alexander Maria Sheptytsky

Andrey SheptytskyThe Stamford Eparchy writes, “In the afternoon of 16 July 2015, Pope Francis received in a private audience the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato. During the audience, the Holy Father approved decrees recognizing the heroic virtues of several Servants of God. The first among these was Andrey Roman Alexander Maria Sheptytsky (1865–1944), Metropolitan-Archbishop of Lviv-Halych.

This formal declaration represents one of the penultimate stages in the beatification process. Once a miracle attributed to the intercession of Sheptytsky is formally recognized, Kyr Andrey will be declared a Blessed of the Universal Church.

The cause for his beatification had been introduced in 1958. With this declaration, the “Servant of God” becomes “Venerable” Andrey.


The new Venerable Servant of God was born Roman Aleksander Maria Sheptytsky on July 29, 1865, in Prylbychi near Lviv. When he entered the Basilian Order took the name Andrey. Father Andrey was elected the major archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church at the age of 36 and he known to have quickly recognized as a social and cultural leader in a period of great political uncertainty. He died November 1, 1944, just four months after the Soviets took control of Lviv. Paris-based Bishop Borys Gudziak said,  “His social teaching, his fine, subtle and prophetic voice allowed the church to survive.” He also said, “Born into an aristocratic family, the archbishop used his resources to create a free clinic, provide countless scholarships and help victims of famine, flooding and war. He personally lived a life of poverty.”


Prayer for Beatification of Servant of God Metropolitan Andrew Sheptytsky

O My God, I adore Your infinite Majesty with all the powers of my soul. I thank You for the graces and gifts which You did bestow upon Your faithful Servant Metropolitan Andrew Sheptytsky. I ask You to glorify him also on earth with evident proofs and miracles.  For this end I beseech You to give me the favor [mention the intention], which I humbly ask from Your Fatherly mercy. O Lord Jesus Christ, through the intercession of Your Mother grant that Your faithful Servant Metropolitan Sheptytsky be proclaimed a saint for the greater glory of God, for the salvation of souls and the good of our Catholic Church. Amen.

Romero’s beatification date set

Romero posterAfter years of reading and talking and listening to the case for Archbishop Oscar Romero’s beatification, Pope Francis heard the final testimony that it was the hatred for the Catholic faith that Romero was killed. He declared his intention to name Romero a martyr.

A CNS story talks about the recent decision to beatify Oscar Romero and set the date of Saturday, May 23, 2015 as the day for the ceremony in El Salvador. This is the eve of Pentecost this year. The Prefect of the Congregation of the Causes for Saints will offer the Mass and the rite of beatification, Cardinal Angelo Amato.

Carlos X gives this analysis of the connection with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and Romero’s beatification:

[the day can be understood] as a retrospective on his ministry as a bishop, and as a meditation on the great charge that Romero sought to fulfill.

  • First, Romero died during Lent and was buried on Palm Sunday.  It seems sadly and sweetly fitting that he should return after Easter, resurrected not only in his people but in his Church, in which he will be raised to the honor of its altars.
  • Second, this Pentecost will be the 40th anniversary of Romero’s first pastoral letter, “The Holy Spirit in the Church,” issued in May 1975 while he was Bishop of Santiago de Maria.  Many will want to read that pastoral letter; they will find that it serves as an apt road map for the bishop that was Oscar Romero, and that he was faithful to its most fervent objectives.
  • Finally, Pentecost is the inspiration for the Second Vatican Council, and the Latin American bishops’ synods at Medellín (1968) and Puebla (1979), which guided Romero’s ministry.  It is impossible to read Romero’s episcopate but through the prism of these modern “Cenacles.”

Tomas Munk, and father, cause for beatification advances

Munk familyArchbishop Stanislav Zvolenský, archbishop of Bratislava, will preside at the ceremony of the closure of the diocesan process of the cause for  beatification and sainthood of the Jesuit novice Tomáš Munk and his father František on April 20, 2015.

The Family Munk were  Jewish converts to Catholicism in 1939. Tomáš entered the novitiate in Ružomberok in 1943. Due to the Nazi ideology against Jewish people, the Munk family were captured by Nazis at the end of 1944. Tomáš was captured in novitiate and later was deported together with his father to the concentration camp Sachsenhausen. Father and son were shot to death during the death march from Sachsenhausen to Berlin on April 20, 1945.

Another good example of holiness in families. I wrote about Tomas in 2009 here at the Communio blog.

Saints in one family

Leonie MartinA while ago I borrowed a phrase: saints beget saints. This seems to be VERY  true –even, and most importantly, in families. Of course, there there are many good examples of family members being raised to the honor of the altar. We need more witnesses to Christ Jesus as saints.

On January 25, 2015 -news was received that another member of the famous Martin family will be studied for a proposal for beatification and canonization. In history she was known as Léonie  Martin, in religion she took the name of Sister Françoise-Thérèse. She was the daughter of Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin and  the sister of St. Thérèse of Lisieux.

Sister Françoise-Thérèse was a professed member of the Monastery of the Visitation at Caen, France, where she died in 1941 at the age of 78.

The story:  The opening of the diocesan process for Leonie’s sainthood is to be announced in France today.  

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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