Category Archives: Sainthood causes

Benedict XVI to beatify John Paul II

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Pope Benedict XVI announced today that the Venerable Servant of God Pope John Paul II will be beatified on May 1. The announcement … 
Read the interview with the Prefect of the Congregation of Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato….
A slide show of the Pope’s last visit to NYC.

Cardinals, bishops affirm miracle’s medical findings attributed to John Paul II

JP II wearing pilgrims cape.jpgAnother door to Pope John Paul’s beatification happened yesterday in Rome. The cardinals and bishops who are members of the Congregation of Saints have affirmed the veracity of the medical investigations of a miracle of attributed to the Venerable Servant of God Pope John Paul II, and the theological report on the same. Andrea Tornielli writes about the news.

Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, who suffered the effects of Parkinson’s Disease, makes the claim of healing through the intercession of John Paul who also suffered from the same.
Speculation is that Benedict will assign the liturgical memorial for John Paul to a date in October so that his April 2nd date of death and liturgical observance doesn’t conflict with Holy Week. Often the date of death is the feast day though not exclusively as we know of the recent case of Blessed John Henry Newman.

Miracle attributed to Pope John Paul II expected to be approved

Sister Marie Simon-Pierre.jpgThe reports of an approved miracle are surfacing as moving more and more toward a confirmation by the cardinals and bishops of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints before the dossier is  given to Pope Benedict for his approval. Theologians, physicians and other professionals have been studying a case of French Sister Marie Simon-Pierre who lived with the effects of Parkinson’s Disease until June 2005.

Sister Marie Simon-Pierre said she was healed of the disease following her prayers to the Venerable Servant of God Pope John Paul II asking him to intercede for her for the gift of God’s healing from Parkinson’s. She described her healing as a second birth with the renewed use of her arms and legs. Word about the miracle’s approval ought to be coming very soon with a possible beatification of John Paul later in 2011.

Christian martyrs of Iraq?

Christians martyrs appeal.jpgThere is a movement afoot to investigate the sanctity of those Christians killed in Iraq just for being Christian, perhaps leading to having these Christians being canonized saints. Interesting question…

“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church,” Tertullian said. Are these women and men true seeds of Christianity in the 21st century?

Francis Xavier Cardinal Nguyên Van Thuán, a beacon of hope

FXN Van Thuan.jpgThe process of canonization has begun, as many know, of Francis Xavier Cardinal Nguyên Van Thuán. The cardinal’s reputation of holiness was born through his virtue and the crucible of suffering in prison for 13 years, 9 of them in solitary confinement. His is a true to witness to hope for us today.

Pope Benedict twice referred to Cardinal Van Thuán in his 2007 encyclical, Spe Salvi, where spoke about the way the cardinal faced hopelessness. The Pope said of Van Thuán ought to be a challenge to us: “the fact that he could listen and speak to God became for him an increasing power of hope, which enabled him, after his release, to become for people all over the world a witness to hope –to that great hope which does not wane even in the nights of solitude” (32).

Van Thuán was a priest for 49 years, a bishop for 35 and a cardinal of the Roman Church for a year and a half. When he came to Rome Pope John Paul II appointed him the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

Cardinal Francis Xavier Cardinal Nguyên Van Thuán died on September 16, 2002, at 74 years old. The Congregation of Saints allowed the process of canonization to proceed in 2007 and the cause is currently be studied. It is reported that several miracles are claimed or credited to the intercession of Cardinal Francis Xavier Cardinal Nguyên Van Thuán.

When Cardinal Van Thuán is canonized he will be the first Vietnamese saints since the martyrs of Vietnam. A great spiritual honor for the people of Viêt Nam, a beacon of hope.

Books by Francis Xavier Cardinal Nguyên Van Thuán:

Testimony of Hope: The Spiritual Exercises of Pope John Paul II (2000)

The Road of Hope: A Gospel from Prison (2001)

Prayers of Hope, Words of Courage (2002)

Five Loaves & Two Fish (2003)

  • Rome Reports TV News Agency did a video presentation in early November on the cardinal with a brief interview with his sister, Tien Thérèse, giving good insights into the person of His Eminence. See the video here.
  • The official website for the cardinal is located here.
  • Recent news on Cardinal Van Thuán can be read here.

Prayer for the Beatification of Francis Xavier Cardinal Nguyên Van Thuán

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O mighty and eternal God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit I offer thanks for giving to the Church the heroic testimony of Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyên Van Thuân. The suffering he experienced in prison, which he united with the crucified Christ and commended to the maternal protection of Mary, is for the Church and the world a shining witness of unity and forgiveness, and of justice and peace. His loving person and his Episcopal ministry radiate the light of faith, the
enthusiasm of hope and the warmth of love. Now, my Lord, through his
intercession and according to your will, grant me the grace I am imploring in the hope that he will soon be elevated to the honour of sainthood.

Imprimatur given in Rome

Giampaolo Crepaldi

Archbishop-Secretary, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace

September 16, 2007

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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