CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 9 June 2018

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Pope Paul VI Archbishop Romero up for sainthood

VATICAN (CNS and SE): Pope Francis cleared the way for the canonisations of Blessed Pope Paul VI and Blessed Archbishop Oscar Romero at a meeting on March 6 with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
 
He recognised a miracle attributed to Blessed Paul, who, according Pietro Cardinal Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state, will be declared a saint in late October at the end of the Synod of Bishops on youth and discernment. 
 
Pope Francis also formally signed the decree recognising the miracle needed to advance the sainthood cause of Archbishop Romero of San Salvador.
 
The pope also signed decrees for the causes of 10 other men and women, among them, two young laywomen and a number of priests and religious sisters.
 
El Salvador’s ambassador to the Holy See, Manuel Roberto Lopez, said on March 7 that the news of the pope’s approval “took us by surprise.”
 
He said, “They told us before that the process was going well and that all we needed was the approval of the miracle, and it turns out the pope approved it yesterday.” 
 
Lopez expressed his happiness that Blessed Oscar Romero’s canonisation was imminent and that his holiness was recognizsed alongside one of his earliest supporters.
 
“To see that he will be canonised along with (Blessed) Paul VI, who was a great friend of Archbishop Romero and supported his work, is a great blessing,” Lopez said.
 
The Vatican did not announce a date for Blessed Romero’s canonisation.
 
On the occasion of the thankgiving Mass in Hong Kong for the beatification of Pope Paul on 26 October 2014, John Cardinal Tong Hon, then the bishop of the diocese, remarked: “For me, the beatification of Pope Paul VI also involves personal joyful feelings, since it was he who ordained me as a priest on 6 January 1966.” (Sunday Examiner, 2 November 2014)
 
Almost a month after the closing Mass of the Second Vatican Council on 8 December 1965, Cadinal Tong recounted that the pope did something highly unusual for the time: he ordained 63 young men to the priesthood. It was a precedent setting move.
 
Pope Francis also recognised the miracles needed for the canonisation of Father Francesco Spinelli of Italy, founder of the Sisters Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament; Father Vincenzo Romano of Italy; and Mother Maria Katharina Kasper, founder of the religious congregation, the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.
 
He recognised the miracle needed for the beatification of Maria Felicia Guggiari Echeverria, a Discalced Carmelite from Paraguay, whom Pope Francis has upheld as a model for the young people of Paraguay. Affectionately called, Chiquitunga, she died from an unexpected illness in 1959 at the age of 34 before she could make her final vows.
 
The pope also recognized the martyrdom of a 16-year-old Anna Kolesarova, from Slovakia, who lived from 1928 to 1944 in the eastern town of Pavlovce, was murdered during Slovakia’s occupation by the Soviet army in World War II after refusing sexual favours to a Russian soldier.
 
In causes just beginning their way toward sainthood, the pope signed decrees recognising the heroic virtues of Polish Redemptorist Father Bernard Lubienski, who entered the congregation in England and then returned to Poland to re-found the Redemptorists there in the 20th century, and Sandra Sabattini, a young Italian woman who was active in helping the poor with the Pope John XXIII Community. She was hit by a car and died in 1984 at the age of 22.
 
The pope also recognised the heroic virtues of Antonio Pietro Cortinovis of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (1885-1984) and three Italian women—two founded religious orders and a the third founded a lay fraternity.

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