Category Archives: Sainthood causes

Pope recognizes Benedictine nun as a saint, others of the USA as having heroic virtue

St Hildegard of Bingen.jpg

This morning the Holy Father had received in a private audience Angelo Cardinal Amato, SDB, Prefect of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints, who presented the cases for sainthood that his office has been working on.

Among the many important things decided, the Pope has given us the liturgical memorial of and inscribed in the catalog of Saints of the Universal Church, the model of holiness in the person of Saint Hildegard of Bingen, a German Benedictine nun born in Bermershein in 1089 and who died in Rupertsberg on 17 Septemeber 1179.

What is interesting here is that Hildegard never really went through the same process of canonization that’s done nowadays so you can say the Church is recognizing her sanctity and place with God without the rigorous investigation that is being done for the Venerable Servant of God Michael J. McGivney. In part, this is because through the centuries the Church has changed several times, the process by which it is judged a person is a blessed or saint. Previously, people used the title “saint” with Hildegard as “popular theology and cult of the saints.”

So, with this ecclesial recognition Saint Hildegard of Bingen may be honored officially as a saint of the Church. She may be considered the Church’s newest Benedictine saint.

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Fra’ Andrew Bertie’s study in the cause for beatification opened


Andrew Bertie.jpgThe Grand Magistry of the Order of Malta has informed
its members that the process to study toward the
beatification of the former Grand Master and Prince, Fra’ Andrew Willoughby
Ninian Bertie
.


His Most Eminent Highness, Fra’ Andrew died in Rome on February 7, 2008 at 78
years (he was born May 15, 1929). Berite was admitted to the Order in 1956 and
was the 78th head of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, the successor of Blessed Gerard. Fra’ Andrew was the
youngest son of the 7th Earl of Abigngdon; both sides of his family has royal
ties through the centuries. Bertie was educated at Ampleforth Abbey School,
Christ Church, Oxford and at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the
University of London. He taught French and Spanish for 23 years at the Worth
Abbey School, run by the Benedictine monks.

Bertie arms.jpg

In April 1988, Andrew Bertie was
elected the Grand Master of the Order of Malta, Fra’ Angelo de Mojana di
Cologna. It is long known that Fra’Andrew was followed closely the official
motto of the order is Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum, “Defense of the Faith
and Service of the Poor.” 

Several years ago the Order of Malta was credited to
having about 13, 000 Knights and Dames, 80,000 volunteers (15,000 trained as doctors and nurses), and a presence in 200 hospitals. The Order has an official presence in 120
countries. I am sure the data could be updated.

Fra’ James-Michael von Strobel has been charged to compile a list of
persons in the United States who knew Fra’ Andrew and would support favorably
this cause.

Please contact Fra’ James-Michael if you care to give support in
this endeavor. jmvonstroebel@hotmail.com 

Pope Benedict XVI spoke of Fra’ Andrew and praised “the work of this man of
culture and of his generous commitment in the fulfillment of his high office,
especially in favor of those most in need, and for his love for the Church and
for his luminous testimony of the principles of the Gospel.”

Fra’ Andrew was succeeded by Fra’ Matthew Festing.
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Felix Varela’s cause for canonization moves ahead

Felix Varela.jpegThe Congregation for Saints has told Bishop Octavio Cisneros, an auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn that the Servant of God Felix Varela’s cause has been accepted by the Pope as a man of heroic and cardinal virtue. He will be given the title “Venerable Servant of God.” Cisneros is the vice-postulator of Varela’s cause.

Father Varela (1788-1853) was ordained a priest in Havana and came to the USA to serve as a priest. In 1837 he was appointed the Vicar General of New York diocese, the number two in responsibility for a diocese. He founded the first Spanish language newspaper in the USA, the founder of the New York Churches of the Transfiguration and Saint James and was a delegate to Council of Balltimore with Bishop DuBois.
The Cuban American priest worked for the needs of the immigrants, especially the Irish immigrants at time when the Irish were maltreated. Father Varela was an ardent fighter for freedom here in the USA and abroad;  he spoke for the freedom for the Colonies, from slavery and for the religious freedom of the Church.
Let’s pray that God will soon glorify Father Felix to the Altars.

Walter Ciszek’s advances incrementally to sainthood

Walter J Ciszek.jpgMoving around the circles of the Catholic press is the noteworthy acceptance as valid of the cause of beatification and canonization of Father Walter J. Ciszek, SJ, (1904-84) by the Holy See’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints. 

So, this opens the door for Father Walter to be called “The Servant of God Father Walter J. Ciszek.” This is after thousands of pages already sent to Rome. When the biography, and gathering of other information is complete and deposited with the officials of the Saints’ Congregation, Cisezk’s case will be studied by nine theologians who will determine if he indeed lived a life of heroic virtue. If so after a commission of bishops and cardinals meets, a recommendation will be made to the Holy Father. A positive vote on all matters will result in the bestowing of the title “Venerable Servant of God…” Then, the real work of identifying a certifiable miracle takes place for the rank of beatification and then another miracle for canonization.

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Communion and Liberation opens cause for beatification and canonization for Luigi Giussani today

LGiussani.jpgFather Julián Carrón, the President of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, the ecclesial movement founded Father Luigi Giussani (who died 7 years ago today) and which was approved by the Church 30 years this past February 11, gave the preliminary research to Angelo Cardinal Scola, Archbishop of Milan, to open the diocesan phase of investigating the eventual beatification and canonization of Father Luigi Giussani.

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]yahoo.com.
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