Category Archives: Sainthood causes

Antonietta (Nennolina) Meo

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Today’s the anniversary of death (1937) of the Venerable Servant of God Antonietta Meo. She is known by many in Rome as Nennolina. Meo is a six year old candidate for sainthood, indeed a very young girl apparently was in love with Jesus and united her suffering (from cancer) to that of the Lord’s.


Actually I had forgotten about Nennolina’s anniversary until I saw it noted on a “friend’s page” on Facebook.

When I lived for a month with the Cistercians at Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme I came to know about this young sainthood candidate. I seem to recall that a family in Michigan and in Indiana was attributing a miracle through Meo’s intercession. Since I’ve not been following the cause, I don’t the state of her sainthood process except that Benedict XVI recognized her heroic virtues in 2007.

Antonietta Meo was a student of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Rome.


Nennolina is buried in the Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, the same place where the relics of the Holy Passion are located. She was baptized in this church and spent time in prayer there.

Read her letters.

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Second miracle for John Paul’s canonization approved by the bishops

English: Pope John Paul II on 12 August 1993 i...

Several weeks ago word was received that the theologians approved of the findings they were presented on a miracle studied to support Blessed John Paul’s cause of canonization. A second miracle is required for the canonization process to certify that the person being presented for canonization is authentic; the person doesn’t create the miracle but it is through that person’s intercession before God asking Him for the favor.

It is said that this second miracle happen on the night John Paul was beatified. A Costa Rican woman is the subject of the healing. John Paul II died in 2005 and was beatified on 1 May 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI.
The full meeting of the cardinals and bishops of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints met today and likewise approved the report on the second miracle. The Congregation under the leadership of Cardinal Angelo Amato will now write a report and submit it to the Roman Pontiff for his decision.
It is speculated at by December Blessed John Paul could be sainted. Some are also speculating that Blessed John XXIII could be sainted, too.
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Dorothy Day and St Procopius Abbey meet again

Dorothy Day 2.jpgI don’t hide the fact that I believe Dorothy Day is a very reasonable and attractive candidate for the Church to canonize. Following John Paul’s insistence, we need more contemporary saints from among the laity. Several times in the past years I have posted articles on Dorothy Day (+1980) and I am happy to do so again today. My enthusiasm has less to do with Day’s social activism –even though at one time the Catholic Worker Houses were more Catholic and Benedictine-like– as it does with her accepting the truth of Jesus Christ as Messiah, her eventual conversion to Catholicism and her being a Benedictine Oblate.

Oblation as a lay woman she was first connected with the Benedictine monks of Portsmouth Abbey before she moved her Oblation to St Procopius Abbey (outside Chicago). However, there is a difference of opinion on where Day’s Oblation was first offered, Portsmouth or Procopius. The historians are doing some fact checking.
Personally, I have been anxious for the Benedictines and the officials of Day’s sainthood cause in the Archdiocese of New York to talk about the relevance of Day’s Benedictine connection and to propose it for the laity’s consideration to follow. Hopes have been fulfilled with St Procopius Abbey Abbot Austin Murphy’s posting of the Oblate Dorothy Day on their web site.
More on the Dorothy Day-St Procopius connection and the prayer for her canonization is noted here.

Matteo Ricci’s cause for sainthood moves to Rome

MRicci.jpgA while ago I mentioned the sainthood study of the 17th century Jesuit Father Matteo Ricci being opened by Diocese of Macerata. The diocesan phase officially closed on May 10th and the findings were sent to the Congregation for Saints at the Holy See.

Father Matteo Ricci was born in the Diocese of Macerata in 1552 and died in Bejing on May 11, 1610. Initially, the cause was opened in 1984 but closed shortly thereafter. But in 2010 fresh eyes and reasonable interested were opened.

This is a unique event given that a prominent Jesuit cause for sainthood is given to a Jesuit Pope. As Bishop Giuliodori related concerning his visit to the Pope, “I never imagined I’d be able to speak about the cause of Father Matteo Ricci with a Jesuit pope. After the great attention given by Benedict XVI, who never missed an occasion to encourage us to promote the cause, we now have the joy of placing it into the hands of a Jesuit.” It was Pope Benedict’s interest in this cause that is striking. He said, in part, that with Father Ricci we have a “fortunate synthesis of proclaiming the Gospel and of dialogue with the culture of the people who are receiving it, an example of balance between doctrinal clarity and prudent pastoral action. Besides Ricci’s reputed sanctity, he is known for an “innovative method of evangelization based on the inculturation of the faith.” His heroic virtues include humility and courage. Others have derided Ricci for being too cozy with Confucian practices that may be incompatible with Christianity. Ricci was a missionary to China to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ, nothing more. Hence, in Ricci we have a model of evangelization and faith formation that is based on reason: dialogue with the culture, balance, doctrinal clarity and prudent pastoral action.

The Time of the Holy Spirit is now

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In the days leading up to the great feast of Pentecost which we celebrate next week, it seems right that we look to what we know and believe about the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Advocate sent to us by the Trinity. 


We need to work in a concerted way to educate our religious sense on the gifts of the Holy Spirit that were given in the sacraments of Initiation. The Holy Spirit is not talked about too often in the teaching of the faith and you rarely hear of the Spirit in homilies. I would love to see a parish provide as part of their formation of adults an in-depth course on the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

It is noted by many that we lack a firm grasp of how the Holy Spirit leads and guides each one of us, and how the Spirit is the agent in the sacred Liturgy (Mass and the Divine Office). The Paulist Fathers’ evangelization work has mentioned recently that “Until we appropriate the Holy Spirit more fully in our Catholic consciousness, we will not have the spirituality to do the reaching out, welcoming, inviting, and sharing that are essential parts of our Catholic life and mission. Father Isaac Hecker, Servant of God, founded the Paulist Fathers will a strong spirituality of the Holy Spirit. Part of his cause for canonization might well include a greater awareness of the Spirit in our American/Canadian Catholic lives.”


Father Isaac Hecker is one of America’s priests who took evangelization and adult faith formation seriously. Let’s take inspiration from him.

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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