Category Archives: Sainthood causes

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

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.

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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