Category Archives: Sainthood causes

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

Francis Van Thuan.jpg

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

Fulton J. Sheen’s cause for canonization halted

A distressing development has occurred with the canonization process for the Servant of God Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen has been suspended by the Bishop of Peoria, Daniel Jenky, CSC. The issue seems to be the refusal of the Archdiocese of New York to return the mortal remains of Sheen to his home diocese of Peoria; the archbishop died in 1979 at the age of 84, and was entombed in the crypt of the famed Cathedral of Saint Patrick. Earlier that year he met Pope John Paul II in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in a terrific embrace of brothers. The life and work of Archbishop Sheen might be likened to being a 20th century Saint Dominic of Guzman. After serving for three years (1966-69) as the Bishop of Rochester (NY), Fulton returned to New York City. The diocesan phase of the process was concluded in 2008.

Bishop Jenky’s statement follows:

FJ Sheen with girl.jpgIt is with great sadness and disappointment, Bishop Jenky announces that after nine years of effort and sacrifice, the Diocese of Peoria is suspending its efforts on behalf of the Beatification of Fulton J. Sheen.  The Archdiocese of New York has made it clear that it is not likely that they will ever transfer the remains of Fulton J. Sheen to his home diocese of Peoria.  The Bishop hopes that the Archdiocese of New York, in whose Cathedral crypt the earthly remains of the Servant of God are still entombed, might now assume this responsibility.  In this endeavor he would pledge the cooperation of his diocese.  The bishop urges the clergy, faithful and religious of Peoria to continue to pray for the Cause of Archbishop Sheen whose heroic virtues in announcing the Gospel and serving the poor were an extraordinary blessing in the life of the Catholic Church.  The bishop would also like to remind all in his diocese and all those throughout the world who have so enthusiastically supported the Sheen Cause that finally it is only God who makes saints, not men.

The Diocese of Peoria remains committed to promote the message of the great priest, Fulton J. Sheen within our Diocese and to continue to develop our museum and research center devoted to his life.

Cause for sainthood opened for priest in Boston: Joseph Muzquiz

Joseph Muzquiz2.jpgThe Archdiocese of Boston and Opus Dei have begun in earnest the study of the cause of saint of Father Joseph Muzquiz. Muzquiz labored in the Boston area for many years and died there in 1981. These first steps are being taken to do a proper investigation in possibility of presenting a cause for sainthood to the Church.

Here’s the story in The Pilot.

American woman closer to sainthood: Casimira Maria Kaupas

Casimira Kaupas.jpgAmong the decrees promulgated by Archbishop Angelo Amato, SDB, Prefect of the Congregation for Saints, is the recognition of heroic virtue of the Servant of God Maria Kaupas (in history Casimira Kaupas). She founded the Congregation of Sisters of Saint Casimir, in Scranton, PA, on August 29, 1907.


Casimira Kaupas was born in Ramygala, Lithuania on January 6, 1880 and died in Chicago on April 17, 1940. She faced bone cancer for eight years.

Now, this foundress will be known as the Venerable Servant of God Maria Kaupas. The next step is to identify and verify a miracle so that she can be beatified.

Bernard J. Quinn: Another possible saint from NY?

Msgr Bernard Quinn.jpg

New York is famous for a lot, and saints is one of those things, contrary to a NY Times columnist Paul Vitello who today introduces us to the Church process of studying a local person’s sanctity. The Brooklyn Diocese has announced that it is studying the case of sanctity for Monsignor Bernard J. Quinn.
Tonight Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio will preside at the “Oath Signing Service” for the opening inquiry for Monsignor Bernard J. Quinn’s cause for canonization. The service will be held at the Church of Saint Peter Claver, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. The church founded by Quinn in 1922. Monsignor Paul Jervis is serving as postulator.
In New York state there are 10 possible saints under investigation and in some way official. And the study of Quinn’s sanctity will join the study of the 19th century vicar general of the Diocese of New York, the Servant of God Father Felix Varela (1788-1853), whose postulator is Bishop Ottavio Cisneros, an auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn.
Quinn’s story is interesting but there is got to be more to the thought that he might be able to be canonized than being a supreme advocate for racial equality –as right and necessary racial justice is for all people, not only Christians. Indeed, he was ahead of his times and had a true heart for those considered in need. We eagerly await the various documents Monsignor Jervis publishes on the life of this famous monsignor.
Here is Msgr. Bernard J. Quinn’s NY Times obituary: Bernard J. Quinn obit.pdf
The Brooklyn Diocese’s press release.

Read Paul Vitello’s NY Times article for today for more (even with several notable errors & omissions)….

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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