Showing posts with label Causes of Saints. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Causes of Saints. Show all posts

Thursday, September 19, 2013

ROME REPORTS releases a special program about John Paul II's miracle

News from

There's a miracle behind this face. On April 8th 2011, Floribeth Mora woke up with a headache so strong she had to be taken to the emergency room.

“I was hospitalized. They told me I had a brain hemorrhage.” 

The doctors didn't have good news for Floribeth's husband. They told him her days were limited. But that was before John Paul II came into the picture. Now, in a special program produced by ROME REPORTS, they share the human drama they went through and the unexpected outcome of their story. A heartwarming and emotional story that saved her life and paved the way towards John Paul II's canonization.  

EDWIN ARCE, Floribeth's husband
“I try not to remember those difficult moments because they were filled with pain.” 

“Then, I suddenly hear a voice in my room that tells me: 'Rise.' I got up and went into the kitchen, where my husband asked me what I was doing. I told him: 'I feel fine.'” 

Now, TV channels from around the world will be able to air the emotional story of John Paul II's miracle narrated by those who were directly affected. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Rachel Lozano's recovery from cancer could be labeled a miracle by the Vatican

Rachel Lozano

The following excerpt is from

By Art Holliday

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - "Whether the church says it or was or not, I believe it was a miracle."

That "M" word: miracle. During the nine years she's been cancer free, Rachel Lozano has used that word a lot, explaining over and over again why she's still among the living.

"Sometimes it's a little overwhelming at times," said Lozano. "I think of this time as my extra years on earth."

Most of Rachel's high school years at St. Joseph's Academy were spent fighting a rare and sometimes fatal form of cancer, Askin's tumor. She had multiple surgeries and underwent a bone marrow transplant. Chemotherapy claimed her hair, but she whimsically turned her bald head into a canvas for colorful artwork. In her high school graduation photo, she was smiling brightly, even though she was fighting for her life.

"It was strange. I actually had a peacefulness when I would think and pray about it," said Lozano. "I didn't know what that peacefulness meant. I didn't know if that meant dying or that meant living."

When the cancer appeared for the third time, the doctors delivered the worst news possible.

"That I pretty much had a few weeks to live at the most, depending on which organ was hit first, because the tumor recurred between my heart, lung, and spine."

During one last surgery to remove cancer, Rachel Lozano's doctors were shocked to find no cancerous tissue. The cancer was gone.

A 2000 photograph shows Lozano at the gravesite of Father William Chaminade, founder of the Marianists in 1817. She had flown to Rome to attend a ceremony honoring Father Chaminade. Feeling a strong connection to the priest, Lozano prayed to Chaminade to cure her cancer.

"He also overcame a lot of obstacles in his life and never gave up hope," said Lozano. "I see the parallels in our lives that way."

Eventually Rachel Lozano's recovery was declared to be a miracle by the St. Louis Archdiocese and the investigation was passed along to the Vatican. If the Vatican certifies that Lozano's case is a miracle, it would be the second miracle attributed to Father Chaminade, and the Pope could declare Chaminade a saint. She doesn't know if or when that will happen.

Read More: Rachel Lozano

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Dorothy Day: former atheist and social advocate journalist, on the way to sainthood

The video and following news story is from

The story of Dorothy Day depicts a passionate woman, always in search of truth. As a journalist, her journey could have her become Church's first journalist saint.

Osservatore Romano

“She was a great writer and American journalist, who was not Catholic. She was an atheist and a socialist, who was very involved in the worker movement. At a certain point she converted to Catholicism and created a large movement working closely with workers, and with the poor, through a magazine called the Catholic Worker.”

She had a tough life, and even underwent an abortion. But after her conversion, she changed her life. In addition to the magazine, she also established soup kitchens and shelters where victims of the Great Depression could eat and sleep. She also advocated actively during the Second Vatican Council to condemn war.

Osservatore Romano

“She worked with a group of women from all around the world and from different religions to pressure or lobby the Second Vatican Council, and to make a statement for peace and to condemn war, which until then the Church had never done. They achieved it.”

A woman with a strong will, she never stopped fighting her entire life for causes she deemed as just. Her stance is supported by “Women, the Church and the World,” a supplement to the Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper.

Osservatore Romano

“We published a page from her diary where she talks about how they were invited to an audience with the Pope, and he addressed them. That was, in fact, the last audience of John XXIII, and it took place precisely with those women who asked for peace. They were very happy.”

Dorothy Day died in New York City in 1980, at 83 year old. Precisely there, in her hometown, the canonization process has started. And her supporters are expecting good news soon.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Did prayer to wartime priest lead to East Bay man’s cancer recovery?

Father Franz Stock, center, is pictured with Archbishop Angelo Roncalli
the future Pope John XXIII – at a German prisoner of war camp, Sept. 18, 1945.

Report on case sent to Rome in sainthood investigation of German Father Franz Stock

The photograph and following excerpt is from the website of Catholic San Francisco:

By Valerie Schmalz

If the Vatican authenticates the 1997 healing of an East Bay man diagnosed with incurable gastric cancer days before his wedding, then the Catholic Church will beatify Father Franz Stock, a German Army chaplain to Paris prisoners of the Nazis.

Father Stock was “the last human face” hundreds, perhaps thousands, saw before their execution.

He is a symbol of reconciliation in France and Germany, where streets and schools are named for him and national leaders have honored him. A French postage stamp commemorating Father Stock was issued in 1998 for the 50th anniversary of his death from pulmonary edema on Feb. 24, 1948, at age 43.

The Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese of San Francisco investigated the 1997 medical case and sent its report to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints on March 16. If the Vatican authenticates the miracle, Father Stock would be declared blessed. He would be canonized if a second miracle is verified.

Three months after doctors said a 33-year-old East Bay resident had at most three months to live, he was declared cancer-free in October 1997. Medical tests continue to show no traces of cancer.

“The doctors were flabbergasted because he was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer and they sent him home to get his affairs in order and die,” said Robert Graffio, canon lawyer for the Archdiocese of San Francisco and notary for the investigation.

The man married his fiance a couple of weeks later than they had planned. The couple has two children, 7 and 9.

“This is yet another assurance that the Lord is with us still, to this day, working miracles in our midst,” said Msgr. Michael Padazinski, chancellor and judicial vicar in the Archdiocese of San Francisco who oversaw the investigation as episcopal delegate.

The man who recovered unexpectedly became the object of prayers to Father Stock through family members who knew of the priest’s story.

A Franciscan priest who wrote the only English-language biography of Father Stock was pastor of a New Jersey parish where the stricken bridegroom’s older brother, his wife and children attended Mass. When Mary G. – her full name is withheld by request – called to place her brother-in-law on the parish prayer list in 1997, Franciscan Father Boniface Hanley said, “Pray, pray to Father Franz Stock,” she said, and made up a holy card for them to use.

“We kept praying the whole time. He had his whole stomach removed. He had lymph nodes that were positive,” said Mary G., who as a nurse cared for her brother-in-law as he recovered instead of dying. “It’s 15 years later and he is still cancer free.”

Read more: Father Franz Stock

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American woman to soon become a saint

The following excerpt is from

The first canonization of a Native American woman has been approved. Her name is Kateri Tekakwitha, but she's also known as “Lily of the Mohawks” and the patroness of American Indians. Last December, Benedict XVI cleared the way for her canonization, after a miracle was attributed to her.

The case deals with a young boy from Washington State, who was hospitalized for several months, after being diagnosed with a flesh eating disease. His case was serious, until his parish priest, asked his family and their parish to pray for the intercession of Kateri. Soon after, the family says, the boy began to heal without any medical explanation. 

Read more: Kateri Tekakwitha

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Blessed Marianne Cope from state of New York is one step away from being declared a Saint

Blessed Marianne Cope from state of New York is one step away from being declared a Saint


The Diocese of Syracuse in New York announced that Marianne Cope is just one step away from being declared a saint.

In the 1860's, the Franciscan sister served in Syracuse, New York, before moving to Hawaii. On the Island, she ministered and cared for patients who suffered from leprosy.

The miracle that now paves the way for her canonization, involves a woman who was on her death bed, yet was miraculously cured through the intercession of Cope. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints approved the miracle after it was re-examined by a group of theologians and cardinals.

Now Benedict XVI himself, must approve the recommendation before setting a date for the canonization ceremony.

In addition to being a teacher and principal in upstate New York, Cope also helped establish St. Elizabeth Hospital in Utica and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse. Both were among the first hospitals to open in central New York. During her time in Hawaii she opened a center that cared for the children of leprosy patients.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Vatican medical board confirms second miracle attributed to Mother Marianne Cope

Mother Marianne Cope - Hawaii State Archives

The following excerpt is from

The former leader of Syracuse’s Franciscan sisters is just one step from being named a saint in the Roman Catholic Church.

A group of cardinals and bishops confirmed today a Vatican medical board’s finding that there is no medical explanation for a second miracle attributed to Blessed Mother Marianne Cope, known for her work with patients with leprosy in Hawaii.

With the approval of Pope Benedict XVI, Mother Marianne would become a saint, considered the church’s spiritual role models.

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes for Saints confirmed the unanimous ruling of the medical board that a medical miracle occurred as the result of prayers seeking the intercession of Mother Marianne on the patient’s behalf.

The case involves the healing of a woman who was ill with a fatal health condition. The diocese has not revealed the woman’s name or other details of her case, but may later, local church officials have said.

In 2004, Vatican officials ruled that a miraculous recovery involving a 14-year-old Syracuse girl in 1993 was the result of Mother Marianne’s intercession. The girl, Kate Mahoney, nearly died from complications after cancer surgery at Crouse Hospital.

Sister Mary Laurence Hanley, a Franciscan nun, visited Mahoney in the hospital and prayed to Mother Marianne to intercede with God on her behalf. Others also prayed for her to Mother Marianne.

The Sisters of St. Francis have a shrine to Mother Marianne at their residence on Court Street in Syracuse.

Read more: Mother Marianne Cope

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Future Saint? Book on 100 alleged miracles of Alfonso Maria Fusco to be published

Future Saint? Book on 100 alleged miracles of Alfonso Maria Fusco to be published

The following news excerpt is from

Ten years after his beatification an Italian blessed is getting closer to becoming a saint. Alfonso Maria Fusco founded the Congregation of the Sisters of San Giovanni Battista.

Over the years, the sisters from that congregation have collected information on roughly 100 alleged miracles of the Blessed Italian. The writings will be made into a book in the future.

It will include the alleged healing of a child who suffered from malaria in Zambia. Even though the boy's mother wasn't Catholic, she asked a nun to pray for her son.

The book will include other possible miracles that range from physical healings to overcoming moral difficulties.

Blessed Fusco was born in 1839 in Angri, which is located in southern Italy. At the age of 11 he decided to be a priest to help others. Once he was ordained his first assignment was to help underprivileged children from his hometown.

The priest was known for walking along the streets of his town, looking for the poor and offering them help. He would offer them food and education. From this mission, the Congregation of St. John the Baptist was born.

Read more: Alfonso Maria Fusco

Friday, November 11, 2011

Teenage Martyr could become the Philippine's Second Saint

Teenage martyr could become the Philippine's second saint

The following excerpt is from

According to Filipino bishops, the Vatican has officially attributed a miracle to a blessed Filipino martyr named Pedro Calungsod. Now, this miracle paves the way for his canonization.

The 17 year old Filipino was beatified back in the year 2000 by Pope John Paul II. The miracle deals with a woman who was declared brain dead, but was inexplicably cured just a few hours later.

The young blessed was born in Cebu, Philippines back in 1654. He died along with Spanish missionary Diego Luis de San Vitores, while they evangelized to natives. In fact, the first time people learned about the work of the teenager, was through the memoirs of Spanish priest San Vitores.

The Philippines was very proud to learn about the faithful teenager, especially his hometown of Cebu, where Calungsod has a sanctuary and has been declared a patron of the youth.

Mhar Vincent Balili
Archdiocese of Cebu (Philippines)

“Hopefully the canonization of blessed Pedro Calungsod will tell that the youth is not only a recipient of the Gospel but they too can be the givers of the Word of God. And now, for the coming of the canonization of the blessed Pedro Calungsod, we can say that now we can really have a countryman, in our dialect we call a 'tagilungsod,' whom we can call also for our prayers and intercession”.

Now the next step is for Benedict XVI to actually ratify the miracle. The pope could make an announcement in the coming weeks. If that's the case, the blessed teenager would eventually become the Philippine's second saint. The first one is San Lorenzo Ruiz, who was canonized in Rome in the year 1988.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pope canonizes Mother Boniface, known for work toward women’s economic independence

Pope canonizes Mother Boniface, known for work toward women’s economic independence

The following news story is from

( - The Spanish nun Bonifacia Rodriguez will be remembered for her fight to help poor women to learn a trade. Before becoming a nun, she was actually a rope maker. She went on to found her own religious order known as the Servants of St. Joseph, right in the local shop where she worked.

It was in 1874, in the midst of the industrial revolution. From that moment, she and the Jesuit Francisco Butinyà devoted themselves to helping poor women to make a decent living and discover their faith in everyday life.

The new order allowed the nuns to dress like the artisans of the country. There was no dowry asked of them to enter the convent, where they would work side by side with lay people. It was a project that did not please everyone.

Sister Victoria López
Servant of Saint Joseph

“It was a life project that was too new for it to be understood. Still, some clergy of Salamanca don't understand it. They don't grasp how the gospel works in the project that's so close to the business world.”

As a result the bishop of Salamanca dismissed Mother Boniface and decided the order would be devoted to education. Boniface died being virtually excluded by her own order in 1905.

Years later, in 1936 her writings were rediscovered and the congregation again recognized her as the founder.

Sister Victoria López
Servant of Saint Joseph

“It's recognizing a charisma that was born in the heart of Nazareth. A charisma that is aimed at working women, poor women, women who are often abused, or underpaid, or deprived of liberty.”

The miracle that made her a saint took place in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was the healing of a 33 year old man who suffered from an incurable stomach disease.

Sister Victoria López
Servant of Saint Joseph

“The entire world was waiting for it to die, but the community had begun to ask Mother Boniface for the healing of Kasongo Bavón. And inexplicably and unexpectedly, this boy was cured.”

Currently, the congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph has around seven hundred sisters, working in one hundred communities in twelve countries. They are the successors of a simple working woman who had the courage to face the challenges of her time including being forced out of her order by those closest to her.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Catholic Church to Canonize Father Louise Guanella after Confirming Miracle

Catholic church to canonize new saint after accepting Pa. miracle report -

The following excerpt is from The Mercury:

The Catholic Church will canonize Father Louise Guanella, founder of the religious orders of the Servants of Charity and Daughters of Saint Mary Providence, and the Pious Union of Saint Joseph Prayer Association, on Sunday, Oct. 23.

According to a press release from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the canonization is happening after the Roman Catholic Church confirmed the healing of a Springfield, Pa., man was attributable to Guanella.

William Glisson Jr. was restored to full health after falling into a coma from a rollerblading accident in 2002 after members of Don Guanella Village, members of the Servants of Charity and family members of Glisson used two relics from the priest and prayed for Guanella's intercession in Glisson's recovery.

"In November 2009, the medical commission of the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints declared there were no scientific, natural, or medical reasons for his cure. And in January 2010, the Pontifical Theological Commission confirmed that William Glisson's healing was obtained through the intercession of Blessed Father Louis Guanella," read the press release from the archdiocese.

Read more: Father Louise Guanella

Saturday, October 01, 2011

A Church Tribunal is Investigating a Possible Miracle of Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Possible miracle of Archbishop Fulton Sheen under investigation

The following news story is from

( - He's remembered as a preacher, archbishop and a gifted communicator. His name was Fulton Sheen, a dynamic priest who became a well known television personality in the 1950's.

Years later, his name is making headlines once again. A Church tribunal is investigating whether a newborn was saved through the intercession of archbishop Sheen. If it's confirmed, it could further his cause for beatification.

The alleged miracle happened in Pioria, Illinois where Sheen was ordained. It all started over a year ago, when Bonnie Engstrom and her husband were expecting a baby boy. They prayed that Sheen would look after the pregnancy. In fact, they decided the boy's middle named would be Fulton.

Despite a healthy pregnancy, the baby was delivered, but without a pulse. The boy's parents told the Catholic Post that for 61 minutes, the boy had no heartbeat. It was the longest minute of their lives. They began praying to Sheen, and within seconds he was baptized under the name James Fulton. CPR was performed and experts were called in. Eventually, his little heart started beating.

His parents were told that the boy might be blind. They also told them, his medical condition could be unstable. A year later, his parents say, he's doing just fine.

The family is convinced that archbishop Sheen played a role in the boy's survival. They say the gifted communicator and EMMY award winner, is also their miracle worker.

For now, witnesses and medical data will be analyzed in Pioria. Once the tribunal makes its case, the file will then go to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome. That team, will then pass its own conclusion and recommendations to the pope.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sheen Intercession Cited in Boy's Alleged Miraculous Healing

Photograph from The Catholic Post

The Catholic Post : Featured Article - Sheen intercession cited in area boy's alleged miraculous healing

The following excerpt is from the Catholic Post:

By Jennifer Willems

That James Fulton Engstrom is celebrating his first birthday on Friday is amazing. In fact, some would call his life a miracle.

Considered stillborn on Sept. 16, 2010 after a healthy pregnancy and “a beautiful, short labor,” James was without a pulse for the first 61 minutes of his life. It was only when doctors at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria were ready to call the time of death that his little heart started beating.

His parents, Travis and Bonnie Engstrom, believe James is alive due to the intercession of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Servant of God.

On Sept. 7, a tribunal of inquiry was sworn in to investigate the Goodfield tot’s alleged miraculous healing. Joining James and his family at the ceremony in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chapel in the Spalding Renewal Center in Peoria were Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC; Dr. Andrea Ambrosi, postulator for Archbishop Sheen’s cause for beatification and canonization; and members of the Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Foundation board, some of whom are relatives of the late archbishop.

Read more: Miraculous Healing

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tito Yupanqui could become the first Bolivian saint

Tito Yupanqui could become the first Bolivian saint

The video and following excerpt is from

The bishops of Bolivia have opened the beatification process of Francisco Tito Yupanqui. If approved, he would become the first blessed Bolivian. He was born in 1550 and was one of the first indigenous people to convert to Catholicism.

He carved the image of the Virgin of Copacabana, which is an extremely important figure in Bolivia. The miracles attributed to the image have prompted the possible holiness.

Carlos Federico de la Riva
Bolivia's ambassador to the Vatican
"The attribution of the miracle is not directly related to the sculptor, Tito Yupanqui. Rather the miracles are linked to the image of the Virgin. That's simply a fact."

The sculptor is so popular in his native country, there's actually a village in the western part of Bolivia, named after Tito Yupanqui. Now, Catholics in Bolivia are hoping his beatification will come soon.

Carlos Federico de la Riva
Bolivia's ambassador to the Vatican
"In a way Bolivians see it as justice. People say, 'gee, all the saints are from other countries,' as if there was no room for holiness in Bolivia.”

If he does in fact become a blessed, the ambassador says it will promote a Christian way of living in his home country.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hawaiian nun's cause for sainthood jumps forward with second miracle

Hawaiian nun's cause for sainthood jumps forward with second miracle

The following information is from

( The cause for sainthood of Blessed Hawaiian nun Marianne Cope has received Vatican approval of a second miracle. A group of doctors from the Vatican's Congregation for Causes of Saints declared there is no medical explanation for the cure of a woman who was on her deathbed and made a miraculous recovery.

No other details on the case have been released.

Before moving to Hawaii in 1883 to help care for those suffering with leprosy, Marianne Cope worked as a member of the Sisters of St. Francis in Syracuse, New York. Her cause for beatification has been taken up there.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

US nun's cause for sainthood moves forward with initial ruling on second miracle

CNS STORY: US nun's cause moves forward with initial ruling on second miracle

The following excerpt is from CNSBy Patrick Downes - Catholic News Service

HONOLULU (CNS) -- The sainthood cause of Blessed Marianne Cope of Molokai has taken a significant step forward with a Vatican medical board ruling in favor of a miracle attributed to her intercession.

According to a news release from her religious community, the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities in Syracuse, N.Y., the seven physicians at the Vatican Congregation for Saints' Causes declared there is no medical explanation for the cure of a woman who had been suffering from an allegedly irreversible fatal condition.

"The board concluded the woman's healing was inexplicable according to available medical knowledge. The doctors on the case expected her to die and were amazed scientifically at her survival," the release said.

This is the second miracle attributed to Blessed Marianne's intercession to go through the Vatican approval process.

The first miracle, required for her beatification, was the medically unexplainable recovery of a New York girl dying from multiple organ failure after prayers were said to Mother Marianne. It was approved by the medical board Jan. 29, 2004. The board of theologians gave its approval six months later, on July 15. On Dec. 20, Pope John Paul II affirmed the case, making Mother Marianne eligible for beatification. She was beatified in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican May 14, 2005.

Read more: Blessed Marianne Cope of Molokai

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Miracle claimed for Pope Pius XII

AP Exclusive: Miracle claimed for WWII-Era Pope - Times Union

The following excerpt is from

CASTELLAMMARE DI STABIA, Italy (AP) — Maria Esposito was ready to give up. Wasted away at 42 kilos (92 pounds), she couldn't bear another dose of chemotherapy to fight the Stage IV Burkitt's lymphoma that had invaded her body while she was pregnant with her second child.

But as she and her family had done since she was diagnosed with the rare and aggressive form of cancer in July 2005, Esposito prayed to the man who had appeared to her husband in a dream as the only person who could save her: Pope Pius XII.

Esposito survived, cured after a single, six-week cycle of chemotherapy — a recovery that, she says, stunned her doctors and convinced her that the World War II-era pope had intervened with God to save her.

Esposito's case, which the 42-year-old teacher recounted to The Associated Press in her first media interview, has been proposed to the Vatican as the possible miracle needed to beatify Pius.
Pius' main biographer, American Sister Margherita Marchione, has championed Esposito's miracle case and personally presented it to the Vatican's No. 2 official, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

Pope Benedict XVI moved Pius one step closer to possible sainthood in December 2009 when he confirmed that Pius lived a life of "heroic" Christian virtue. All that is needed now is for the Vatican to determine a "miracle" occurred.

Read more: Pope Pius XII Miracle

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Pope John Paul II to be Beatified in 2011?

John Paul II to be Beatified in 2011? - Blogs -

The photograph of Pope John Paul II and following excerpt is from the National Catholic Register:

John Paul II could be beatified in 2011, perhaps even before the summer, according to the veteran Vaticanist Andrea Tornielli.

Writing in Il Giornale this morning, he reports that in recent weeks, the medical advisers of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints have produced “a favorable view on the miracle attributed to the intercession of Pope Wojtyla - the healing of a French nun from Parkinson’s - and the documentation in recent days has also passed the scrutiny of theologians.”

He says the Cause now moves to the cardinal and bishop members of the congregation who have just received the dossier on the miracle. They are to cast their vote in a couple of weeks.

Tornielli says it is “theoretically possible” John Paul II could be beatified on April 2, 2011, the sixth anniversary of his death, or a date in May. October is another possibility as that would coincide with the anniversary of his election to the papacy.

Read more: Pope John Paul II

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Pope Decrees Sainthood for Blessed Guido Maria Conforti and Beatification for Several Others

Pope decrees sainthood for Italian, beatification for 11 others - Catholic News Agency (CNA)

The following excerpt is from CNA/EWTN News:

- Pope Benedict XVI has advanced the sainthood causes of 16 Catholics. The announcement was made following the Pope’s meeting with Cardinal Angelo Amato, head of the Vatican’s office for the causes of saints, Dec. 10.

The Church’s newest saint will be Blessed Guido Maria Conforti, a missionary order founder and Italian bishop who died in 1931. The Pope has authorized a miracle attributed to Conforti’s intercession, the second needed to affirm his sainthood.

He founded the Pious Society of St. Francis Xavier for Foreign Missions, the Xaverian missionaries, who through his guidance brought about a renewal of the missionary spirit at the turn of the 20th century. The missionaries first spearheaded evangelization efforts to China. They are now present in a variety of countries throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas.

While his most recent miracle was not described, the first miracle attributed to Blessed Conforti came about in 1965. After prayers for his intercession from Xaverian sisters in Burundi, 12-year old Sabina Kamariza was cured of pancreatic cancer. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1996.

In addition to the miracle attributed to Blessed Conforti, the Pope has also authorized miracles attributed to an Italian priest, the Spanish foundress of a religious institute, the Portuguese foundress of an order of hospitalier sisters and a Brazilian sister who died in 1992. They will all be beatified for miracles attributed to their intercession.

Further papally-authorized decrees will recognize the martyrdom of German Father Alois Andritzki killed in the Nazi’s Dachau concentration camp in 1943 and six Spanish priests who all died for the faith during their country's civil war in 1936. No dates have been released yet for the ceremonies that will recognize them as blesseds.

"Heroic virtue" was decreed in the lives of a 20th-century Italian priest, a Lebanese religious brother of the Melkite Catholic tradition, an Italian sister and foundress of a religious congregation and a Spanish religious sister.

A series of steps marks the road to sainthood. First, the cause is begun on a local, diocesan level at which time information is collected on the person known to have led an exemplary or "heroic" Christian life.

Information is collected at the local bishop's request, resulting in a biography of the person, any writings they created, and testimonies from witnesses being sent to the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints. After further investigation by a panel, those who advance are either recognized for their "heroic virtue" and declared "venerable" or declared martyrs for the faith, thus bypassing the venerable stage to be beatified and declared "blessed."

"Venerables" to whose intercession a miracle is attributed advance by further papal decree to be beatified and declared “blessed.”

Once a person is declared “blessed,” the final step to canonization and recognition as a saint is the attribution of a second miracle for non-martyrs and a single miracle for those who suffered martyrdom.

Read More: CNA News

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Life Saved from Cardinal Van Thuan's Intercession

Seminarian Joseph Nguyen - CNA Photo
Seminarian may owe his life to Cardinal Van Thuan's intercession :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

The photograph and following excerpt is from CNA:

By Benjamin Mann

Denver, Colo., (CNA/EWTN News).- Doctors said Joseph Nguyen was dead. His heart rate was dropping beyond recovery, and all brain activity was gone. But while they wrote his death certificate, Joseph's parents were asking an old family friend for help: a Vietnamese cardinal who is being considered for beatification.

Joseph Nguyen has since re-enrolled in seminary. He's seen his own death certificate, now stamped “VOID.” He has only two memories of the 32-day coma, which he says felt otherwise like a “great night's sleep.”

During the weeks that he hovered between life and death in 2009, Joseph says he had two encounters with Cardinal Francois-Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan.

The revered Vietnamese Cardinal died in 2002. In 2007 he received a prominent mention in Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical “Spe Salvi,” where the Holy Father cited his exemplary Christian witness during his 13 years as a political prisoner. His cause for beatification began in 2007 as well. In October 2010, the Vatican began its own inquiry into his possible sainthood.

Long before anyone thought to declare him a saint, the future cardinal was simply a priest– often celebrating private Masses in the homes of some Vietnamese faithful. Although Joseph Nguyen never met Cardinal Van Thuan during his earthly life, his father's family knew “Father Van Thuan” quite well. They thought of the priest “almost like a family member.”

That family bond deepened when Cardinal Van Thuan became Archbishop of Saigon, and subsequently a prisoner of the Communist regime.

In 1975, Joseph Nguyen's parents immigrated from Southeast Asia to the United States, where their son was later born. Joseph knew about Cardinal Van Thuan's heroic life, and appreciated his message of peace and hope. But the young seminarian never imagined he would be describing details of his own life, and near-death, to investigators for the cardinal's canonization.

It began in August 2009, during Joseph's third year in the seminary. He was assigned to hospital work, visiting and counseling the sick, as well as bringing the Eucharist to Catholic patients. Early in the fall, he caught what he thought was only a common seasonal flu. When the illness worsened, he asked for leave from the seminary to recover at home.

“I remember October 1st,” he recounted to CNA. “I had no idea why I was gasping for air.” His father drove him to the hospital, where he checked himself in. But Joseph has no memory of that event, or the emergency tracheotomy he received after losing the ability to breathe.

Later, he would hear about the day he was pronounced dead, while his parents kept hope alive and prayed fervently for Cardinal Van Thuan's intercession. He would also hear about how, on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, while still comatose, he began violently pulling the tubes from his body, stopping only when his father placed a rosary in his hand.

He'd also learn about the second time his body seemed to be shutting down. That time, no one declared his death. They'd already seen one seemingly impossible recovery.

When Joseph awoke, after 32 days, he knew nothing about any of this. A doctor explained he had fallen ill not only with a seasonal flu, but also the H1N1 “Swine Flu,” and severe pneumonia. Friends and family later told him the details of his month in the coma.

But when he could speak again, Joseph had his own story to tell.

“During my coma, there are only two things I remember,” he said. “The only two things I remember are two visions of Cardinal Van Thuan … He appeared to me twice.”

Joseph said he not only saw, but actually met and spoke with Cardinal Van Thuan, during two vivid incidents he described as a “separation of soul and body.” Although he said he couldn't reveal the details of the ecounters, he did say that he suspected that they occurred while his doctors were observing his loss of brain activity and decline in vital signs.

“Soon after the second visit” with the cardinal, he said, “I woke up from the coma.” He had “no idea what had happened,” or why he had “all these tubes and wires” coming out of his body, particularly the tube in his neck that kept him from speaking.

Doctors thought it would be months or years before he could speak, walk, or study. But within days he was talking and breathing normally, racing his nurses around the rehabilitation room.

He also received an entirely unexpected phone call from Cardinal Van Thuan's sister in Canada, who ended up giving him one of her brother's rosaries.

Read More: Cardinal Van Thuan's Intercession

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