Sainthood causes: April 2012 Archives
The Grand Magistry of the Order of Malta has informed its members that the process to study toward the beatification of the former Grand Master and Prince, Fra' Andrew Willoughby Ninian Bertie.
His Most Eminent Highness, Fra' Andrew died in Rome on February 7, 2008 at 78 years (he was born May 15, 1929). Berite was admitted to the Order in 1956 and was the 78th head of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, the successor of Blessed Gerard. Fra' Andrew was the youngest son of the 7th Earl of Abigngdon; both sides of his family has royal ties through the centuries. Bertie was educated at Ampleforth Abbey School, Christ Church, Oxford and at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. He taught French and Spanish for 23 years at the Worth Abbey School, run by the Benedictine monks.
In April 1988, Andrew Bertie was elected the Grand Master of the Order of Malta, Fra' Angelo de Mojana di Cologna. It is long known that Fra'Andrew was followed closely the official motto of the order is Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum, "Defense of the Faith and Service of the Poor."
Several years ago the Order of Malta was credited to having about 13, 000 Knights and Dames, 80,000 volunteers (15,000 trained as doctors and nurses), and a presence in 200 hospitals. The Order has an official presence in 120 countries. I am sure the data could be updated.
Fra' James-Michael von Strobel has been charged to compile a list of persons in the United States who knew Fra' Andrew and would support favorably this cause.
Please contact Fra' James-Michael if you care to give support in this endeavor. firstname.lastname@example.org
Pope Benedict XVI spoke of Fra' Andrew and praised "the work of this man of culture and of his generous commitment in the fulfillment of his high office, especially in favor of those most in need, and for his love for the Church and for his luminous testimony of the principles of the Gospel."
Fra' Andrew was succeeded by Fra' Matthew Festing.
The Congregation for Saints has told Bishop Octavio Cisneros, an auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn that the Servant of God Felix Varela's cause has been accepted by the Pope as a man of heroic and cardinal virtue. He will be given the title "Venerable Servant of God." Cisneros is the vice-postulator of Varela's cause.
Father Varela (1788-1853) was ordained a priest in Havana and came to the USA to serve as a priest. In 1837 he was appointed the Vicar General of New York diocese, the number two in responsibility for a diocese. He founded the first Spanish language newspaper in the USA, the founder of the New York Churches of the Transfiguration and Saint James and was a delegate to Council of Balltimore with Bishop DuBois.
The Cuban American priest worked for the needs of the immigrants, especially the Irish immigrants at time when the Irish were maltreated. Father Varela was an ardent fighter for freedom here in the USA and abroad; he spoke for the freedom for the Colonies, from slavery and for the religious freedom of the Church.
Let's pray that God will soon glorify Father Felix to the Altars.