Category Archives: Sainthood causes

Itala Mela: Benedictine Oblate sainthood cause advances

Itala MelaToday, in Rome, the Congregation for Saints proposed to the Holy Father that after study and prayer, the Servant of God Itala Mela, laywoman and Benedictine Oblate of the Abbey of Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls (Rome), did indeed, live a life of heroic virtue. Now her cause will study possible miracles attributed to her intercession before the Throne of Grace.

Itala Mela is known as the Mystic of the Holy Trinity. Mela was born to Pasquino and Luigia Bianchini on 24 August 1904 and died 29 April 1957.

Mela was well acquainted with the likes of Giovanni Battista Montini, the future Pope Paul VI, Blessed Idelfonse Cardinal Schuster, OSB, and Fathers Agostino Gemelli and Divo Barsotti. Schuster was the abbot of St Paul’s before his nomination as the archbishop of Milan.

On 4 January 1933, Itala Mela professed the promises of a Benedictine Oblate of Saint Paul Outside the Walls and on 9 June she made a fourth vow of consecration to the Holy Trinity which she considered as the center of her life and mission in the Church. How providential that this recognition of Mela happens on the weekend in 2014 that we liturgically recall the dogma of the Holy Trinity!

Itala Mela’s cause for sainthood was opened on 21 November 1976 and it has taken until now to advance –in God’s time– as she referred to as the Venerable Servant of God Itala Mela.

Much of Mela’s life is known in Italian, but you may want to look at this website nonetheless.

Father Paolo Molinari dies at 90

Paolo MolinariIf you follow the process of studying candidates for sainthood you will undoubtedly know the name of Father Paolo Molinari, an Italian Jesuit. He was missioned by the Society of Jesus, since 1957, to shepherd various causes for recognition as blesseds and saints. At his death, the Society said it thinks Father Paolo brought more than 46 causes to beatification or canonization which includes more than 150 persons now honored as blessed or saints.

On May 2, 2014, Father Paolo Molnari met the Lord of the Harvest; Father died in Rome.

Father Paolo Molnari is the man who knew lots about saints. He once described saints as “ordinary people living in a way that ordinary people don’t; doing good beyond what good people do.”

Professionally, Father Molinari served  as a professor of theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University and as the president of the Vatican’s College of Postulators; he also advised the Pontiffs on technicalities of the process. Journalists will remember that Molinari was a patient teacher of the Church’s canonization process.

Here is a great–really, exceptional, interview with Father Paolo done by Salt and Light TV (March 27, 2012).

May the Lord receive the soul of Father Paolo by the hands of the saints and blesseds.

Joseph Muzquiz, Servant of God

Joseph MuzquizYou may not know about The Servant of God, Father Joseph Muzquiz, a candidate for sainthood. His cause opened in 2010 in the Archdiocese of Boston. I recommend following the work of seeing if Muzquiz is saint material.

Since 1949, Father Muzquiz has been in the USA having been born in Spain and well-educated in Europe. The reason for his coming to the States was the establishment of Opus Dei ; he was sent by St. Josemaría Escrivá. You may remember a line I use from time to time: saints beget saints. Muzquiz died in 1983 and yet his influence continues to be felt and followed.

There is a website giving pertinent info for Father Joseph Muzquiz which will help you to know this holy and very man better (the site includes a video presentation).

For private devotion here is a prayer:

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. 

Servant of God Oscar Romero

RomeroFriends, on this day in 1980, Archbishop Oscar Romero was martyred while celebrating Mass in San Salvador. He was a great voice for human dignity and social justice.

Let’s pray for our Salvadoran brothers and sisters today — and for all those who are persecuted for their Christian faith.

Nuestra Señora de la Paz, Pray for us!

Archbishop José Gomez
Archbishop of Los Angelus

Approved miracle attributed to the intercession of Venerable Servant of God Fulton Sheen

fulton (2)March 6, 2014

Peoria, IL — The Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, Bishop of Peoria and President of the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation, received word early Thursday morning that the 7-member board of medical experts who advise the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints at the Vatican unanimously approved a reported miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

The case involved a still born baby born in September 2010. For over an hour the child demonstrated no signs of life as medical professionals attempted every possible life saving procedure, while the child’s parents and loved ones began immediately to seek the intercession of Fulton Sheen. After 61 minutes the baby was restored to full life and three years later demonstrates a full recovery.

Today’s decision affirms that the team of Vatican medical experts can find no natural explanation for the child’s healing. The case will next be reviewed by a board of theologians. With their approval the case could move on to the cardinals and bishops who advise the Pope on these matters. Finally, the miracle would be presented to Pope Francis who would then officially affirm that God performed a miracle through the intercession of Fulton Sheen. There is no timeline as to when these next steps might move forward.

“Today is a significant step in the Cause for the Beatification and Canonization of our beloved Fulton Sheen, a priest of Peoria and a Son of the Heartland who went on to change the world. There are many more steps ahead and more prayers are needed. But today is a good reason to rejoice,” commented Bishop Jenky.

Fulton Sheen was born May 8, 1895 in El Paso, IL outside of Peoria. His family moved to Peoria so that Fulton and his brothers could attend Catholic school. He grew up in the parish of the Cathedral of St. Mary where he was an altar server and later ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria. After advanced studies and service as a parish priest in the city of Peoria, Fulton Sheen was a professor of philosophy and religion at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. In the 1930s he became a popular radio personality and later a TV pioneer. His weekly TV program, “Life is Worth Living” eventually reached 30 million viewers and won an Emmy award for outstanding TV program.

From 1950-1966, Bishop Sheen was the national director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in the United States, the Church’s primary missionary apostolate. In 1966, he was named Bishop of Rochester of New York where he served until his retirement in 1969, when he was named honorary Archbishop by Pope Paul VI. Fulton Sheen died at the entrance to his private chapel in his New York City apartment on December 9, 1979.

In September 2002, Bishop Jenky officially opened the cause for the beatification and canonization of Fulton Sheen. For six years, the Sheen Foundation, the official promoter of the Cause, gathered testimony from around the world and reviewed all of Sheen’s writings, before sending their conclusions to the Vatican. In June 2012, Pope Benedict affirmed the investigation that Sheen had lived a life of heroic virtue and holiness. Sheen was then titled “Venerable.”

Pending further review by the theologians and the cardinals who advise the Pope through the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, should Pope Francis validate this proposed miracle, Sheen could then be declared “Blessed” in a ceremony that could be celebrated in Peoria, Sheen’s hometown. Upon the Holy Father signing the decree for the beatification, an additional miracle would lead to the Canonization of Archbishop Sheen, in which he would be declared a “Saint.”

For more information about Fulton Sheen and the Cause for his canonization, visit:

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]
coat of arms



Humanities Blog Directory