Category Archives: Sainthood causes

Father Patrick Ryan, Servant of God

Patrick Ryan Servant of GodSainthood causes are always very interesting to me. For one, they show how the Gospel and the Sacraments incarnated in a particular Church or a country. Every saint has a history and a personal spiritual genealogy given particularly by the Trinity for reasons of sanctification. The USA has several saints and blesseds, lots of venerables and servants of God. A recent one, Father Patrick Ryan, is the latest Servant of God.

Bishop Richard Stika of Knoxville, TN writes:

Yesterday (8/9/2016) I signed documents that God willing will lead to the eventual canonization of a priest who served in East Tennessee, Father Patrick Ryan. This remarkable priest, born in Ireland took care of the sick during an outbreak of Yellow Fever in Chattanooga during the 1870s. He served then at what is now known as the Basilica of Sts Peter and Paul. When others abandoned the sick, he stayed around but eventually he himself died from Yellow Fever. He was known for his holiness and pastoral care. I will share more in months ahead about the case of this man whom now is being considered for his holiness as a Saint of God. The Vatican has under recognized his holiness by allowing the process to begin. And so yesterday, with their approval and my signature giving my assent as the bishop, he is now known under the title of “Servant of God”!

Bring your prayer intentions to the Servant of God Father Patrick Ryan so that he will bring them to the Lord.

Blessed Mary Stella and Companions, Martyrs of Nowogrodek

Eleven Nuns of NowogrodekToday is also a  day on which I recall the witness of the eleven courageous and holy Nazareth Sisters, who in 1943 sacrificed their lives for family members during World War II in Belarus.

As a boy in a New Haven school staffed by the Nazareth Sisters, St. Stanislaus School, I distinctly remember the Adam Styka image  (1948) painted of the nuns being murdered by the Nazi regime.  The original painting was moved to the Rome headquarters of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in 1965.

Each falling into a common grave. Though their mortal identity was robbed by a common grace, but their dignity as woman of grace and Divine Love not. Keeping their memory alive means remembering the names of those killed. The sisters’ names were: M. Stella, M. Imelda, M. Rajmunda, M. Daniela, M. Kanuta, M. Sergia, M. Gwidona, M. Felicyta, M. Heliodora, M. Kanizja and M. Boromea.

In the days before the great feast of the Lord’s Transfiguration on August 6th, it is interesting to note that these sisters had received a tremendous outpouring of affection from their fellow townspeople. The sisters were known as “The Kneelers” because they frequented the local parish Church of The Transfiguration to kneel in prayer at the left side of the altar in prayer.

Sister Mary Stella prayed: “O God, if sacrifice of life is needed, accept it from us who are free from family obligations.  Spare those who have wives and children.”

Saint John Paul II said of Sister Mary Stella, “By the power of His grace, these seemingly weak women witnessed to the strength of true love to the point of martyrdom” (March 5, 2000).

The 12th sister of the group, Sister Malgorzata Banas, who survived the war and the sisters’ chaplain Father Aleksander Sienkiewicz are also candidates for sainthood.

Through the intercession of Blessed Mary Stella and her Ten Companions, Martyrs of Nowogrodek, let us pray for the grace of perseverance in faith and courage.

The liturgical memorial falls on September 4.

Solanum Casey’s 59th anniversary of death

Solanus Casey tombToday is the anniversary of death for Venerable Servant of God Father Solanus Casey.

The Sacrifice of the Mass was offered at the Capuchin Shrine in Detroit where his tomb exists. The Archbishop of Detroit, Allen H. Vigneron, offered Mass.

Father Solanus Casey, was born November 25, 1870, on a Wisconsin farm, joined the Capuchin friars in 1896 and ordained priest on July 24, 1904.

Prayers for the beatification of Father Solanus Casey.

Romano Guardini’s sainthood cause introduced

romano guardiniSome fascinating news –at least it was fascinating to me– that the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising is preparing to open the Cause of Canonization for Father Romano Guardini, one of the most influential Catholic theologians of the 20th century. Several groups have developed praying for Guardini’s beatification.

The press is reporting that Reinhard Cardinal Marx is expected to formally open the Cause before the end of the year.

Father Guardini was born in Verona in 1885 and died in Munich on October 1, 1968.

He taught at the University of Berlin, the University of Tübingen and at the University of Munich. Guardini has been called the patron saint of education (or the educator).

Some of Guardini’s major theological contributions:

The Spirit of the Liturgy
The Lord
The End of the Modern World
The Art of Praying
The Inner Life of Jesus
Meditations Before Mass
The Rosary of Our Lady
The Living God
Eternal Life
And the Word Dwelt Among Us.

The popes, including the last two, have relied upon the thinking of Guardini. In the 1980s when Francis was shipped off to Germany by the Jesuits to get him away from Argentina he went to Germany he was to prepare a doctoral dissertation on Guardini but never finished the work. Pope Francis said, “convinced that Guardini is a thinker who has much to say to the people of our time, and not only to Christians”The emeritus pope Benedict stated that Guardini is “a great figure, a Christian interpreter of the world and of his own time”. It is said that Father Guardini was a principal source of influence in Benedict’s writings.

Father Romano Guardini, pray for us.

Prosper Guerganger’s beatification prayer

Prosper Gueranger

The re-founder of Benedictine life in France in the 19th century, Dom Prosper Guéranger (1805-1875) has a cause introduced (2005) for study for possible sainthood. While no one is perfect in this world, there is reason to believe that God has made a saint of his monastic servant. The ideas and works point in a certain direction of the quality of the person being proposed for study but these things do not completely identify the person.

I chose this date to introduce the invitation to pray for the beatification of Guéranger because it is the date on which the newly formed Benedictines professed their solemn vows at Abbey of Saint Paul outside the Walls in Rome in 1837.

Prayer for the Beatification of Dom Prosper Guéranger:

God our Father, your servant Dom Prosper Guéranger, Abbot of Solesmes, guided by the Holy Spirit, helped a multitude of your faithful people rediscover the meaning of the liturgy as the source of true Christian life. May his devotion to your Holy Church and his filial love for the Immaculate Virgin, inspired by the mystery of the Incarnate Word, be a light for Christians of our own day. Deign, O Lord, to grant the favour we ask you by his intercession, so that his sanctity may be recognized by all and that the Church may soon allow us to invoke him as the one of your blessed and one of your saints. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

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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