Category Archives: Sainthood causes

Clelia Merloni’s canonization cause advances, miracle investigated

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The Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the congregation of sisters founded by the Servant of God Mother Clelia Merloni (1861-1930), are thankful that the diocesan phase of a miracle attributed to Mother Clelia was closed on 11 April 2011. The documentation is now at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints at the Holy See. These efforts move Merloni one step closer to beatification.
The Diocese of Rome which is handling the study for Mother Clelia’s cause finished its work on 1 April 1998; on 7 August 1999, approval from the Congregation for Saints the diocesan work. The postulator is Father Luca M. DeRosa, OFM.
This year marks Mother Clelia’s 150th anniversary of birth; she was a native of Forli, Italy. Her mother died when Clelia was 4 years old and her grandmother raised her. She died on November 21, 1930.

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Ángel Herrera Oria: a journalist turned cardinal

Ángel Herrera Oria, Cardenal.jpgThere’s a journalist, intellectual,  politician and a cardinal whose sanctity is being studied: Ángel Herrera Oria.

Wiki has this story on the Servant of God, Ángel Cardinal Herrera Oria but there is a biography and it’s in Spanish.

Rome Reports has a video story on the journalist-cardinal here.

The Servant of God was born on December 19, 1886, ordained a priest on July 28, 1940 (at 53) and ordained a bishop of Malaga, Spain, on June 30, 1947 (at 60 years). It was the Servant of God Pope Paul VI who created Herrera Oria a cardinal on February 22, 1965.

His Eminence died on July 28, 1968, the 28th anniversary of his priestly ordination.

Cardinal Ángel Herrera Oria, pray for us.

Emil Kapaun’s cause for beatification moves to Vatican

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The Church in the US could have another saint if US Army chaplain Father Emil Kapaun‘s cause for beatification is accepted by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. 

The work of getting the relevant materials ready has been under the able hands of Father John Hotze, the bishop’s delegate for the study of Father Kapaun’s beatification and canonization. A priest of the Diocese of Wichta since 1940, Father Kapaun served in the US Army from 1944 until his death in 1951. In fact, he died in a prison camp hospital on May 23, 1951 (he was born on April 20, 1916). The Diocese of Wichita has the competence to present the dossier of his life when it officially opened the cause for his beatification on June 29, 2008. 

Father Emil Kapaun, a native of Pilsen, Kansas, served in the Korean War as a US Army chaplain, and was known for his selflessness. Kapaun is on record for courageously rescuing wounded soldiers from the battlefield, risking his own life to prevent their execution at the hands of the Chinese. The care of the priest saved the lives of sick and injured soldiers. 

The well-known Dr. Andrea Ambrosi, is going to shepherd the Kapaun case. He’ll be the person who will present Kapaun’s case, all 8,268 documents about the chaplain’s deeds and sacrifices in the Korean War, to the Congregation of Saints at the Vatican said based on what he knows thus far, Father Kapaun has a good chance at being beatified. Ambrosi said: “He showed that there was not just a devil working on the battlefields of the war, but something else.” The face of Christ.

Two miracles are being studied.

  • In 2006, Avery Gerleman, then 12 years-old, near death for 87 days. She recovered after her parents prayed to Kapaun.
  • In October 2008, Chase Kear, a college track athlete, medically inexplicable, he  survived a severe pole vaulting accident. His skull was fractured in several crucial places and caused bleeding on his brain. The prognosis was very grim. Family prayed for Father Emil’s intercession.

Joseph Muzquiz, priest: possible saint

Joseph Muzquiz.jpgThe Archdiocese of Boston announced on June 2 that it is taking to the next step in overseeing the study of the cause of canonization of Father Joseph Muzquiz (1912-1983).

In the summer of 2010 the initial steps with the Archdiocese and the Congregation for Saints took place. Now, the key task of this process is to see if, in fact, Father Joseph Muzquiz lived a life of heroic virtue.

Father Muzquiz, a priest of the Prelature of the Opus Dei, worked with two others in bringing Opus Dei to the USA. Saint Josemaría had admitted Joseph to Opus Dei in 1941 and had him ordained a priest in 1944 and sent him to the USA in 1949.

With the opening of the sainthood cause, Father Joseph is now referred to the Servant of God Father Joseph Muzquiz. Father Byran K. Parrish presided over the June 2nd ceremony in the name of Sean Cardinal O’Malley and the Most Reverend Emilio S. Allue, the episcopal delegate for the inquiry participated as well as the postulator of the cause, Father David Cavanagh of Opus Dei. About 150 people participated in this ceremony.

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John F. Coverdale authored Putting Down Roots: Fr. Joseph Muzquiz and the Growth of Opus Dei (Scepter Publishers), the narrative of Muzquiz meeting Saint Josemaría and the story of early days of Opus Dei in the US. A brief piece on Putting Down Roots can be read here.
The prayer of petition for Muzquiz’s canonization
God, you helped your servant Joseph work with generosity and simplicity. He spread the message of sanctity in secular life to many people, teaching them to find joy and peace in their daily life. Help me to seek first the kingdom of God by sanctifying my everyday work and dedicating myself generously to the salvation of souls. Glorify your servant Joseph and through his intercession, grant me the favor I ask of you.
Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory be to the Father.

Who are saints? They are “Flesh and Blood Human Beings”

As Father Gabriel B. O’Donnell reminds, being a saint doesn’t mean that you are divested of your own personality, to have intimacy with God doesn’t mean you change who you are as a person. Domincan Father Gabriel O’Donnell is currently the academic dean at the Dominican House of Studies, Washington, DC.

Watch PBS Religion & Ethics Newsweekly which helps us to understand the role of saints today.

Father Gabriel speaks to the process of sainting a person based on shepherding the process for two Americans, Father Michael J. McGivney and Rose Hawthorne. See the “Sainthood Process.”

Another piece is worth watching, too: “Path to Sainthood.”

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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