The blog of the Dominican student brothers at Blackfriars, Oxford.

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On the Path to Sainthood

Monday, December 21, 2009
On the nineteenth of December the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, led by Archbishop Angelo Amato, met with the Holy Father to celebrate their 40th anniversary as a dicastery of the Holy See but there was also work to be done. The Congregation presented Pope Benedict with decrees that required his approval.

The most prominent decrees, at least in the media, were the two which recognised the heroic virtue of John Paul II and Pius XII. Both now become "Venerable" and their causes are permitted to present a first miracle in order to progress to beatification. The Pope also recognised the heroic virtue of Venerable Mary Ward, an English nun who founded the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary which now includes the Congregation of Jesus (known in Austria and Hungary as 'The English Ladies') and the Loreto Sisters.

Pope Benedict also recognised the martyrdom in odium fidei of Fr. Jerzy Popieluzsko (who we wrote about earlier this year) and miracles attributed to Blessed Andre Bessette, a French Canadian Brother of the Holy Cross, and Blessed Mary MacKillop who will become the first Australian to be canonized.

These great men and women are signs for the whole Church and for the world. The fact that their lives range from the late fifteenth century to the twenty-first century shows that God continually calls us to holiness no matter the opposition, be it Protestant England, fascism, communism, or secularism and the culture of death.

Mark Davoren


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