Sainthood causes: February 2010 Archives

This is old news by now, but the Agenzia Fides reported back in late January that the cause for canonization for Father Matteo Ricci is again active. Ricci always held a special place in my imagination partly because he was (and continues to be) maligned by ideologues. I noted Ricci's 400th anniversary on this blog back in May.

The sainthood cause for 16th-century Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci was reopened on January 24, following Mass at the Cathedral of San Giuliano in the diocese of Diocese of Macerata-Tolentino-Recanati-Cingoli-Treia, where he was born.

The process of beatification originally launched in 1984 when he was named a Servant of God. Bishop Claudio Giuliodori of Macerata said that although the cause stalled soon after it was opened, "these 25 years have not passed in vain because the Lord has given us clear signs of a deeper understanding of the prophetic intuitions of Father Matteo Ricci."

Father Matteo Ricci was born in 1552 in the Marche town of Macerata. He entered the Society of Jesus and was missioned by his superiors to study mathematics and astronomy before leaving for the Far East at the age of 26.

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Ricci's itinerary included four years in Goa (west coast of India) before traveling to China. On mainland China he settled in Zhao Qing in the southernmost Guangdong Province; he was proficient in studying Chinese. During his time there he produced his global "Great Map of Ten Thousand Countries," which revolutionized the Chinese understanding of the rest of the world. A copy of the map is on display at the United States Library of Congress.

In 1589 Father Ricci moved to Zhao Zhou and began sharing European mathematical discoveries with Chinese scholars. He became known as "Li Madou" and was renowned for his extraordinary memory and knowledge of astronomy. He eventually became a member of the court of Ming Emperor Wanli.

In 1601 he was allowed into the Forbidden City of Beijing, where he worked until his death in 1610.

Ricci's postulator (the person promoting the inquiry for the sainthood) is Jesuit Father Anthony Witwer, who is coordinating and supervising a historical commission that has been established to collect all the writings and documents attributed to Father Ricci, along with those that reference him in publication. The commission's work will conclude with a critical study on the writings of Matteo Ricci along with a judgment as to the authenticity and value of documents on him.

Paul Wattson: RIP 70 years

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Today is Father Paul Wattson's 70th anniversary of death-- the great Catholic ecumenist and convert. I pray that he lives with the Lord: May his memory be eternal.

O God, Who did raise Thy servant to the dignity of priest in the apostolic priesthood, grant, we beseech Thee, that he may be joined in fellowship with Thine Apostles forevermore.

This essay on Father Paul Wattson, "Father Paul of Graymoor: Founder of the Society of the Atonement and Father of the Church Unity Octave" written by Eleanore Villarrubia, is a great overview of Father Paul's life. 

Some words by Father Paul Wattson

Now that which fosters this love and causes it to burn up and kindle within us, is the gift of our Lord himself to us in the Blessed Sacrament. That is the very heart and center of the religious life. It is our exceedingly  great privilege to have come out of the world and assemble ourselves in the religious houses, where we practically live under the same roof with our heavenly bridegroom. 

In a most intimate manner we receive Him every morning in Holy Communion. When we receive our Lord in Holy Communion, we receive God's body, blood, soul and divinity, the whole Christ, entering our lips and penetrating the inmost recesses of our heart even as he said, "He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood, abides in me and I in him." [John 6:56] Consequently our life is a life of most intimate union. Our divine Savior would not only have us live under the same roof with him and dwell in our chapels, which are for the time being a part of the court of Heaven, but he enters into our interior and penetrates our whole being and lives in us in this wonderful union. And all this is the fruit and the result of the Blessed Sacrament. Therefore, we should have a most wonderful devotion to the Holy Eucharist. (Father Paul Wattson, SA, Retreat Conference August 19, 1926)

A brief remembrance of Father Paul Wattson from a 2009 Communio blog entry.

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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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Sainthood causes category from February 2010.

Sainthood causes: January 2010 is the previous archive.

Sainthood causes: March 2010 is the next archive.

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