Category Archives: Sainthood causes

Venerable Andrey Roman Alexander Maria Sheptytsky

Andrey SheptytskyThe Stamford Eparchy writes, “In the afternoon of 16 July 2015, Pope Francis received in a private audience the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato. During the audience, the Holy Father approved decrees recognizing the heroic virtues of several Servants of God. The first among these was Andrey Roman Alexander Maria Sheptytsky (1865–1944), Metropolitan-Archbishop of Lviv-Halych.

This formal declaration represents one of the penultimate stages in the beatification process. Once a miracle attributed to the intercession of Sheptytsky is formally recognized, Kyr Andrey will be declared a Blessed of the Universal Church.

The cause for his beatification had been introduced in 1958. With this declaration, the “Servant of God” becomes “Venerable” Andrey.

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The new Venerable Servant of God was born Roman Aleksander Maria Sheptytsky on July 29, 1865, in Prylbychi near Lviv. When he entered the Basilian Order took the name Andrey. Father Andrey was elected the major archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church at the age of 36 and he known to have quickly recognized as a social and cultural leader in a period of great political uncertainty. He died November 1, 1944, just four months after the Soviets took control of Lviv. Paris-based Bishop Borys Gudziak said,  “His social teaching, his fine, subtle and prophetic voice allowed the church to survive.” He also said, “Born into an aristocratic family, the archbishop used his resources to create a free clinic, provide countless scholarships and help victims of famine, flooding and war. He personally lived a life of poverty.”

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Prayer for Beatification of Servant of God Metropolitan Andrew Sheptytsky

O My God, I adore Your infinite Majesty with all the powers of my soul. I thank You for the graces and gifts which You did bestow upon Your faithful Servant Metropolitan Andrew Sheptytsky. I ask You to glorify him also on earth with evident proofs and miracles.  For this end I beseech You to give me the favor [mention the intention], which I humbly ask from Your Fatherly mercy. O Lord Jesus Christ, through the intercession of Your Mother grant that Your faithful Servant Metropolitan Sheptytsky be proclaimed a saint for the greater glory of God, for the salvation of souls and the good of our Catholic Church. Amen.

Romero’s beatification date set

Romero posterAfter years of reading and talking and listening to the case for Archbishop Oscar Romero’s beatification, Pope Francis heard the final testimony that it was the hatred for the Catholic faith that Romero was killed. He declared his intention to name Romero a martyr.

A CNS story talks about the recent decision to beatify Oscar Romero and set the date of Saturday, May 23, 2015 as the day for the ceremony in El Salvador. This is the eve of Pentecost this year. The Prefect of the Congregation of the Causes for Saints will offer the Mass and the rite of beatification, Cardinal Angelo Amato.

Carlos X gives this analysis of the connection with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and Romero’s beatification:

[the day can be understood] as a retrospective on his ministry as a bishop, and as a meditation on the great charge that Romero sought to fulfill.

  • First, Romero died during Lent and was buried on Palm Sunday.  It seems sadly and sweetly fitting that he should return after Easter, resurrected not only in his people but in his Church, in which he will be raised to the honor of its altars.
  • Second, this Pentecost will be the 40th anniversary of Romero’s first pastoral letter, “The Holy Spirit in the Church,” issued in May 1975 while he was Bishop of Santiago de Maria.  Many will want to read that pastoral letter; they will find that it serves as an apt road map for the bishop that was Oscar Romero, and that he was faithful to its most fervent objectives.
  • Finally, Pentecost is the inspiration for the Second Vatican Council, and the Latin American bishops’ synods at Medellín (1968) and Puebla (1979), which guided Romero’s ministry.  It is impossible to read Romero’s episcopate but through the prism of these modern “Cenacles.”

Tomas Munk, and father, cause for beatification advances

Munk familyArchbishop Stanislav Zvolenský, archbishop of Bratislava, will preside at the ceremony of the closure of the diocesan process of the cause for  beatification and sainthood of the Jesuit novice Tomáš Munk and his father František on April 20, 2015.

The Family Munk were  Jewish converts to Catholicism in 1939. Tomáš entered the novitiate in Ružomberok in 1943. Due to the Nazi ideology against Jewish people, the Munk family were captured by Nazis at the end of 1944. Tomáš was captured in novitiate and later was deported together with his father to the concentration camp Sachsenhausen. Father and son were shot to death during the death march from Sachsenhausen to Berlin on April 20, 1945.

Another good example of holiness in families. I wrote about Tomas in 2009 here at the Communio blog.

Saints in one family

Leonie MartinA while ago I borrowed a phrase: saints beget saints. This seems to be VERY  true –even, and most importantly, in families. Of course, there there are many good examples of family members being raised to the honor of the altar. We need more witnesses to Christ Jesus as saints.

On January 25, 2015 -news was received that another member of the famous Martin family will be studied for a proposal for beatification and canonization. In history she was known as Léonie  Martin, in religion she took the name of Sister Françoise-Thérèse. She was the daughter of Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin and  the sister of St. Thérèse of Lisieux.

Sister Françoise-Thérèse was a professed member of the Monastery of the Visitation at Caen, France, where she died in 1941 at the age of 78.

The story:  The opening of the diocesan process for Leonie’s sainthood is to be announced in France today.  

Miriam Teresa Demjanovich –an American blessed

Miriam TeresaToday, the Catholic Church in America witnessed the beatification of a woman Sr. Miriam Teresa –the fourth American-born woman to be beatified. This is the first time a beatification ceremony happened in the USA. The Mass and rite was offered by Cardinal Angelo Amato in the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, NJ.

Interesting, our new blessed was a member of the Eastern Catholic Church in the United States. She was a member, however, of a religious order of the Latin Church, the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth. Her feast day is May 8. The Blessed’s book, Greater Perfection, published after her death remains germane to those interested in the spiritual life.

The Vatican Radio interview with Bishop Kurt Burnette (eparchial bishop of the Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic Eparchy of Passaic) notes very well the importance of Blessed Miriam Teresa for us: her understanding of the sacrament of Baptism, her teaching on prayer, her desire to be of complete service to the Triune God. As the bishop says, Americans are known for their activism; and the other American blesseds and saints are known for their activity in building up the Mystical Body of Christ –the Church, but her God has chosen to raise up for us a model of holiness who is a contemplative.

“Bishop Burnette reflected on the impact of her legacy on Eastern and Western spirituality.

“One of the remarkable things about her writings, I believe, is that she brings an Eastern Christian spirit of unity into the Western analysis. The Western theology tends to be analytical. For example, when she talks about prayer, in the West they had divided prayer up into three stages. What they called the purgative, the illuminative and the unitive. But Sr. Miriam Teresa claims that prayer always includes all three parts.”

Pope Francis approved a miracle attributed to Sr. Miriam Therese when a young boy who lost his eyesight due to macular degeneration was cured after prayers through her intercession. For Bishop Burnette, this miracle along with her profound humility, spirituality and insight are clear signs of God’s confirmation of her sanctity. “I don’t believe we really choose who is going to be canonized, God does,” he concluded.

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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