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Pope Francis canonizes 3 saints; 13 other sainthood causes advance

April 03, 2014

In an April 3 audience with the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Pope Francis canonized three blesseds by the process of “equivalent canonization.”

The three are Blessed François de Laval (1623-1708), the first bishop of Quebec; Blessed José de Anchieta (1534-97), a Spanish Jesuit priest and missionary to Brazil; and Blessed Marie of the Incarnation (1599-1672), who introduced the Ursuline order in Canada.

In equivalent canonization-- a procedure described by Pope Benedict XIV in the eighteenth century-- the Pope waives the usual judicial process and declares that a blessed’s liturgical cult is extended to the universal Church. Pope Benedict canonized St. Hildegard of Bingen by equivalent canonization in 2012, and Pope Francis canonized St. Angela of Foligno and St. Peter Faber by equivalent canonization in 2013.

“Equivalent canonization, though not frequent, is not rare in the Church,” Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, said in a December interview. “The best known are Gregory VII, Gertrude of Helfta, Peter Damian, Cyril and Methodius, John Damascene, the Venerable Bede, Albert the Great, Thomas More, John of Avila.”

Pope Francis also paved the way for the canonization of four other blesseds by approving the publication of decrees of miracles attributed to their intercession:

  • Blessed Giovanni Antonio Farina (1803-88), bishop of Vicenza (Italy) and founder of the Institute of the Teaching Sisters of Saint Dorothy
  • Blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara (1805-71), an Indian priest who founded the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate
  • Blessed Nicola Saggio (1650-1709), an Italian professed oblate of the Order of Minims
  • Blessed Euphrasia Eluvathingal (1877-1952), an Indian Carmelite sister

The Pope also cleared the way for the beatification of Venerable Luigi Bordino (1922-77), a member of the Brothers of Saint Joseph Benedict Cottolengo, by approving a publication of a decree on a miracle attributed to his intercession.

Finally, Pope Francis approved decrees on the heroic virtues of eight Servants of God, who may now be honored with the title “venerable”:

  • Bishop Francisco Simón y Ródenas (1849-1914), a Spanish Capuchin Franciscan friar who led the Diocese of Santa Marta, Colombia
  • Father Adolfo Barberis (1884-1967), an Italian diocesan priest who founded the Sisters of Christian Servanthood
  • Father Marie-Clément (Joseph) Staub (1876-1936), a French Assumptionist priest who died in Quebec
  • Sebastiano Elorza Arizmendi (1882-1942), a Spanish lay Augustinian
  • Mother Maria Teresa of the Eucharistic Jesus (1901-72), the Brazilian foundress of the Little Missionaries of Mary Immaculate
  • Sister Clara of the Conception (1902-73), a Spanish Poor Clare sister
  • Mother Maddalena Marcucci (1888-1960), a Passionist sister who was born in Italy and died in Spain
  • Luigi Rocchi (1932-79), an Italian layman


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