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Vatican advances candidates toward beatification

June 28, 2012

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has released a series of decrees advancing the causes of candidates for beatification and canonization.

Among the more notable cases, the Vatican announced that Archbishop Fulton Sheen, the American prelate famed for his television preaching, demonstrated heroic virtue. [See today’s separate CWN headline story.] The Congregation made the same announcement regarding Bishop Alvaro del Portillo, the successor to Saint Josemaria Escriva as head of Opus Dei, who led the lay movement when it was established as a personal prelature. Each will now be eligible for beatification is a miracle is attributed to his intercession.

Two others advancing toward beatification were women religious who worked in North America: one in Quebec and the other in New York. And the Vatican proclaimed the martyrdom of a priest who was murdered in Sicily after speaking out forcefully against the Mafia.

Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, released a full list of decrees after a June 28 audience with Pope Benedict XVI.

The Congregation confirmed miracles attributed to the intercession of Luca Passi (1789-1866), an Italian priest; and Francesca de Paula de Jesus (1808-1895), a Brazilian laywoman. The Vatican will now schedule their beatifications.

The Congregation proclaimed as martyrs the following candidates, who are also qualified for beatification:

  • Manuel Borras Ferre, a Spanish bishop, and 145 companions who were killed between 1936 and 1939 in the Spanish Civil War;
  • Giuseppe Puglisi, an Italian priest who was killed by the Mafia in 1993;
  • Ermenegildo of the Assumption and 5 companions who were killed in Spain in 1936;
  • Victoria de Jesus, a Spanish religious, killed during the Civil War in 1937; and
  • Devasahayam Pillai, an Indian layman, who was killed in 1752.
Finally the Congregation attested to the heroic virtue of the following candidates, who now hold the title “venerable”:

  • Fulton Sheen;
  • Alvaro del Portillo;
  • Sisto Riario Sforza (1810-1877), an Italian cardinal;
  • Ludwig Tijssen (1865-1929), a Dutch priest;
  • Cristobal of St. Catherine (1638-1690), a Spanish priest;
  • Marie of the Sacred Heart (1806-1885), a Canadian widow who became founder of the Good Shepherd Sisters of Quebec;
  • Mary Angeline Teresa (1893-1984), an Irish native who worked in the US and founded the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm;
  • Maria Margit (1905-1933), a Hungarian nun; and
  • Ferdinanda Riva (1920-1956), an Italian religious.


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