Sainthood causes: April 2011 Archives

As Father Gabriel B. O'Donnell reminds, being a saint doesn't mean that you are divested of your own personality, to have intimacy with God doesn't mean you change who you are as a person. Domincan Father Gabriel O'Donnell is currently the academic dean at the Dominican House of Studies, Washington, DC.

Watch PBS Religion & Ethics Newsweekly which helps us to understand the role of saints today.

Father Gabriel speaks to the process of sainting a person based on shepherding the process for two Americans, Father Michael J. McGivney and Rose Hawthorne. See the "Sainthood Process."

Another piece is worth watching, too: "Path to Sainthood."

Subtle differences need certain light in a canonization process. Scholasticism advocates that we always distinguish. Benedict XVI will be beatifying his friend, colleague and boss, Pope John Paul II on May 1. So, the faithful are asking what's the difference between the ecclesial acts of beatification and canonization?

The Holy See told us what's considered to be the distinguishing marks of any beatification. There are three differences:

  • location of dioceses that can hold annual public liturgical celebrations in the holy person's honor;
  • who ceremonially requests the pope to act;
  • and the level of papal authority involved in the proclamation.

What Pope Benedict has worked hard to remind the Church, "at a beatification ceremony, the bishop of the diocese where the person dies asks that the candidate be declared blessed; at a canonization, the prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes speaks in the name of the whole church and asks that the candidate be declared a saint."

But a central difference between a beatification and canonization is that with a canonization there is an act of declaring dogmatically, that God has revealed this person with Him in beatitude. Essentially, it is a matter of papal infallibility. Being a saint is a dogmatic statement; being a blessed is not. A saint can be liturgically commemorated at the sacred Liturgy worldwide and remembered in other circumstances like naming buildings after the person. When the Church says a person is a blessed, it is an administrative act of the papal office; a blessed can be liturgically commemorated is limited to certain circumstances, like where the person lives or in the houses of the religious congregation should the person be a religious.

Thumbnail image for Frère Théophanius-Léo.jpgThe accepted the recommendation of the Congregation for Saints today advancing to the next step several causes for saints, including the North American, Adolphe Chatillon (known in religious life as Frère Théophanius-Léo). Pope Benedict signed a decree that said Chatillon lived the Christian virtues in a heroic way. The Servant of God Adolphe Chattillon will now be called "The Venerable Servant of God Adolphe Chatillon --many will just use the simple form of the title "venerable."

Adolphe Chatillon (1871-1929) was a professed member of the LaSalle Christian Brothers. He served in the Canadian schools administered by the Christian Brothers as a teacher, headmaster, novice-master for 30 years and a General Vicar for the USA.

Chatillon needs a miracle attributed to his intercession before he would be beatified and another prior to a declaration of sainthood.

We pray to God the Father almighty that He'll give us the gift of calling Aldophe Chatillon a saint in the near future. Venerable Servant of God Adolphe Chatillon, pray for us.

The other holy people of Canada can be found here.

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 April 2011.

Sainthood causes: February 2011 is the previous archive.

Sainthood causes: June 2011 is the next archive.

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