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17 sainthood, beatification causes advance

December 15, 2015

In a December 14 audience with the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Pope Francis approved the publication of decrees that advance the sainthood causes of 17 servants of God.

In approving a decree on a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Elizabeth Hesselblad (1870-1957), the Pontiff has paved the way for the canonization of a Swedish immigrant to the United States who converted to Catholicism, re-founded the Bridgettine order in Europe, and saved Jews during World War II.

Pope Francis also approved decrees on miracles attributed to four venerable servants of God, thus paving the way for their beatification:

  • Father Wladyslaw Bukowinski (1904-74), a Polish priest imprisoned in the Soviet gulag, was a missionary in Kazakhstan
  • Sister Giulia Crostarosa (1696-1755), an Italian religious, founded the Redemptoristine Nuns
  • Sister Maria di Gesù Santocanale (1852-1923) founded the Capuchin Sisters of the Immaculate of Lourdes
  • Itala Mela (1904-57), a university-educated Italian laywoman, could not enter monastic life because of illness and became a Benedictine oblate and theological writer

In addition, Pope Francis approved decrees on the heroic virtues of a dozen servants of God, who may now be honored with the title “venerable.”

The twelve are

  • Patriarch Angelo Ramazzotti (1800-61), who served as bishop of Pavia (1850-58) and Patriarch of Venice (1858-61)
  • Father Joseph Vithayathil (1865-1964), an Indian diocesan priest who founded the Congregation of the Holy Family
  • Father José María Arizmendiarrieta Madariaga (1915-76), a Spanish diocesan priest
  • Father Giovanni Schiavo (1903-67), an Italian priest of the Congregation of St. Joseph who ministered in Brazil
  • Venanzio Quadri (1916-37), an Italian Servite religious
  • Brother William Gagnon (1905-72), who was born in New Hampshire, entered the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God in Quebec, and died in Saigon
  • Sister Teresa de Saldanha (1837-1916), who came from a prominent Portuguese family, became a Dominican sister in England, and returned to Portugal to found the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena
  • Sister Emilia Riquelme y Zayas (1847-1940), the Spanish foundress of the Congregation of Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament and Mary Immaculate
  • Sister María Speranza of the Cross (1890-1967), a Spaniard who served in China and co-founded the Augustinian Recollect Missionary Sisters
  • Sister Emanuela Kalb (1899-1986), a Polish Jew who converted to Catholicism in 1919 and entered the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Spirit
  • Niklaus Wolf von Rippertschwand (1756-1832), a Swiss farmer and father of nine who was known for working miracles
  • Teresio Olivelli (1916-45), an Italian layman who died in a concentration camp in Hersbruck, Germany


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