Category Archives: Sainthood causes

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.

Miracles, heroic virtue, new blesseds, new saints, 2 Americans

Sixty-seven people who are being proposed for sainthood had their causes advanced today when Angelo Cardinal Amato, SDB, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints presented the respective cases to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI.

Several were recognized as martyrs for the Faith; their witness to Christ resulted in their being killed in hatred of the faith (odium fidei). 7 who were identified as living a life of heroic virtue were women who founded religious congregations of sisters.

Others were diocesan and religious priests, nuns, sisters and lay people. The martyrs came from Spain having died in the mid-1930s. Of note to me was…

Maria Luisa Gertrude Prosperi~the recognition of the miracle attributed to the intercession of the Servant of God Maria Luisa (nee Gertrude Prosperi; 1799-1847; image) an Abbess of the Benedictine Abbey in Trevi;

~the recognition of the miracle attributed to the intercession of the Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha (1654-1672), an American lay woman and first Native American;

~the recognition of the miracle attributed to the intercession of the Blessed Marianne Cope (nee Barbara; 1838-1918), a Franciscan sister who worked with Saint Damian of Molokai.

The Filipino community gets its second saint with the acceptance of the miracle attributed to Blessed Pedro Calungsod (1654-1672), a lay catechist.

2 new Blesseds added US liturgical calendar

Blessed Marianne Cope.jpg

At their annual
meeting, the US bishops voted to have add to the US liturgical calendar Blessed
John Paul II and Blessed Marianne Cope, both are optional liturgical memorials
in the proper of saints. October 22 is designated to honor Blessed John Paul and January 23
for Mother Marianne.

The Church sets dates for liturgical “memorials are typically set for the
date of the person’s death, which in Mother Marianne’s case was Aug. 9, 1918.
However, that date is the feast of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith
Stein), who died Aug. 9, 1942. Jan. 23 is the optional memorial in the United
States for St. Vincent de Paul. That date was transferred from Jan. 22 so that
the U.S. church can observe the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of
Unborn Children — which itself shifts to Jan. 23 when Jan. 22 falls on a
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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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