Miracles & Canonisation

Mighty_Emperor

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Miracle worker

Divine intervention or placebo effect? Laura Spinney talks to the live-in doctor at Lourdes

Thursday September 30, 2004
The Guardian

Two weeks ago, in his office at the medical bureau at Lourdes, Dr Patrick Theillier received a phone call. A 74-year-old woman who had made the pilgrimage to see the Pope when he visited the shrine in August had something extraordinary to report.

On the eve of the papal visit, while taking part in a ceremony for the benediction of the sick, she looked up and saw the sky. The glaucoma that had clouded her left eye - and which opthalmologists had judged inoperable - had, she said, receded. Her vision was fully restored.

"Very good," replied the phlegmatic Theillier. "Now go back to your opthalmologist and ask him if anything has really changed."

It's not that Theillier hears such stories every day. But perhaps once a week, 50 times a year, somebody claims to have been cured at Lourdes. The cure might be anything from relief from a minor ailment to the full-blown, biblical, get up from your bed and walk. The bureau's archives, which go back 120 years, record between 6,000 and 7,000 such events. Of those, 66 have been recognised by the Catholic church as miracles.

Lourdes, the site of a famous appearance by the Virgin Mary in 1858, has had a doctor since 1880, and Theillier was appointed to the post in 1998 by the bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes, Monsignor Jacques Perrier. It is his job to welcome pilgrims, doctors and carers from all over the world, and to oversee hygiene at the grotto, where the supposedly healing water springs from the ground.

His main duty, however, is to record and authenticate the unexplained cures.

A GP with 25 years experience and a deep respect for science, Theillier is also a practising Catholic. If he were not, he says, he could not do his job. Over the years, he has become hardened to fakers and publicity-seekers. But he continues to marvel at the medically inexplicable phenomena that pour into his office by post, phone or email.

It is his position at the boundary of science and faith, he says - as open to one as to the other - that has made him an object of fascination and mistrust in his own right. Constantly interrogated on the subject of miracles, he finally decided this year to sit down and write a book - a short conversation with young people in which he responds to their most frequently asked questions.

The book makes it clear that he does believe in miracles, but he goes to great lengths to explain exactly what he means by the word. "A miracle is something very precise," he says. "There must be a medical dimension and a spiritual dimension." And by way of illustration, he describes the case of Jean-Pierre Bély, the 66th and last miracle to have been recognised by the church, and the only one to have fallen to him to investigate.

Bély was 36 when in 1972 he started to suffer from neurological problems. Twelve years later he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and a year after that he was confined to a wheelchair. By 1987 he was receiving a full invalidity pension and, persuaded by friends, he agreed to go to Lourdes. During that visit, he began to notice feeling returning to his limbs, and a few days later his recovery was complete.

Theillier's role was to verify that Bély was in fact cured - which meant verifying that had been sick in the first place. He interrogated Bély and collected statements from numerous medical experts who could testify to the patient's previous state of health.

Theillier then presented his dossier to the international medical committee of Lourdes, a body comprising around 20 heads of European medical services - believers, agnostics and atheists among them. The committee first saw Bély in 1992, and demanded a second round of investigation. Key among the evidence that convinced them was the testimony of several psychiatrists that he was not suffering from hysteria - a psychological condition that manifests itself with physical symptoms. These can mimick those of MS but are nonetheless genuinely experienced by the patient.

Eleven years after Theillier first brought Bély's case to the committee's attention, they declared themselves satisfied that the cure was genuine and inexplicable in the light of medical knowledge. According to normal procedure in such cases, the file was then passed to Bély's home diocese, and after reviewing the facts of the case and the committee's decision, the church declared a miracle.

The process is long, says Theillier, but the first step is that medical science must recognise the cure as genuine and inexplicable. A case gets taken no further if it doesn't satisfy seven tough criteria.

The illness has to be fatal and one that can be diagnosed by physical examination. Psychiatric illness does not count, as its diagnosis relies on the patient's account, and the recovery has to be complete, sudden and permanent.

But the cure alone is not enough to persuade Theillier to take the case to the committee. "I believe the rigorous, scientific approach is very important," he says. "But that doesn't prevent me from listening to what the person experienced on a spiritual level." People tend to know the exact moment when they were cured, he says, and he listens closely to their account.

"As the priest was giving me unction on the forehead and hands, I had the impression that everything was turning around me," Bély writes in Theillier's book. "In a fraction of a second I lost all sense of time and space. God was coming to cure my heart. I was invaded by a powerful feeling of liberation and peace that I had never experienced before."

Theillier talks about the "marvels" he witnesses at Lourdes, but he is also realistic. "Listen," he says, "Ninety-nine per cent of the people who come here with a disease or a handicap leave with their disease or handicap. But they feel better here, almost inevitably, due to the climate of fraternity that exists here, the fact that they are being attended to, the love and tenderness that is lavished on them."

But what of the rest, the vanishing tumours, reversals of neurodegenerative disease, dissolving cataracts? The placebo effect explains a lot of it, says psychologist Irving Kirsch of the University of Plymouth - the idea that if you believe in a medical intervention enough, whether it is surgery or God's love, it can affect your health.

Over the years Kirsch and colleagues have conducted a series of studies showing the power of placebo. Five years ago, they published controversial findings that sugar pills could mimic 80% of the effects of anti-depressants such as Prozac, as long as people believed they were really taking the drug.

Perhaps even more dramatically, a study published in April by Cynthia McRae, Curt Freed and colleagues at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, showed that Parkinson's disease patients who believed they had undergone an operation to implant foetal tissue into their brains, but in reality had not, experienced significant improvements in their symptoms.

Despite the fact that people go to Lourdes in droves in the hope of being cured, Theillier denies that the placebo effect is at work there - much to Kirsch's surprise. But the head of the medical bureau has a different interpretation, which perhaps boils down to the same thing. "It is neither the grotto nor the waters," he says. "It is the concentration of people who are united in faith and share the same hope."

He also believes that the documented cases are just the tip of the iceberg. Many people don't report their cures, he says, partly because they know that by doing so they will expose themselves to interminable rounds of examination and questioning. "To be cured at Lourdes is a stress, a magnificent, positive stress," he says. Moreover, having experienced something so profound, so intimate and life-changing, many people prefer to keep it between themselves and God.

Whatever the explanation, some people do seem to get better at Lourdes, so why do scientists remain suspicious? Why do many hospitals still refuse to release their patients' medical records to Theillier?

"Placebo is a double-edged sword," says Kirsch. "Any treatment that someone has faith in might yield benefits. On the other hand, sometimes people are lured to abandon effective medical procedures for something that can have a detrimental effect."

He points to findings that placebos can trigger asthma attacks as well as relieve them.

Whether one believes in divine intervention, the power of placebo or mass belief, Theillier's attitude is that it is better to be there, guiding people to the medical treatments that could help them, and documenting the cures that happen spontaneously, so that science can ultimately benefit from those observations.

And yes, he has occasionally bathed in the waters, and offered up a prayer to Bernadette, patron saint of Lourdes - not for any particular malady; he just says it does him good.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/life/interview/story/0,,1315591,00.html

References from the report:

Talking About Miracles
by Patrick Theillier (2004)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0852312822/

or pos:

Et si on parlait des miracles ?
by Dr Patrick Theillier (2001)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/2856168280/


--------------
Kirsch, I. & Sapirstein, G. (1998) Listening to Prozac but Hearing Placebo: A Meta-Analysis of Antidepressant Medication. Prevention & Treatment. 1.
http://www.journals.apa.org/prevention/volume1/pre0010002a.html

There is also commentary on the paper here:
http://journals.apa.org/prevention/volume1/toc-jun26-98.html
 

Mighty_Emperor

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Pope prepares 'sinner' Karl I for sainthood

By Kate Connolly in Berlin
(Filed: 02/10/2004)

The last emperor of Austria, Karl I, will be beatified by the Pope tomorrow amid fierce political and religious argument over how saintly he really was.

While Austrian monarchists are delighted to see the first member of the defunct Habsburg dynasty set on the path to sainthood, critics claim that Karl I was an alcoholic adulterer who advocated the use of poison gas in the First World War.

But the Vatican insists that he performed a miracle - the requirement for beatification. In 1960 a Polish nun based in Brazil was cured of severe leg sores and varicose veins after praying to him.

In addition, when his coffin was opened in 1972, despite a hasty embalming procedure, his corpse was almost completely intact, another important sign of saintliness.

The decision to beatify him follows a campaign by a prayer league lasting more than half a century and constant lobbying of the Vatican by Austrian dignitaries.

There will be three days of celebrations in Rome attended by members of the Austrian and Hungarian governments, 200 descendants of the Habsburg family and about 4,000 pilgrims.

The Vatican's Congregation of the Causes of Saints argues that Karl "served his people with justice and charity" and helped the poor. But critics - including President Heinz Fischer of Austria, who has said he will stay away in protest - argue that the Vatican is ignoring the fact that he commanded troops who were authorised to use poison gas on the Italian front.

Others accuse him of causing dozens of deaths in street fights during two attempts to regain power by force after the abolition of the monarchy.

"He was involved in atrocities and chose never to recognise the republic of Austria," said Josef Cap of the Social Democrats. "Any suggestion otherwise is misrepresentation." Habsburg family members put the claims down to age-old "German propaganda" which was used in an attempt to discredit the emperor. They say Karl, a Freemason, was a peace lover who tried to stop the war and limit the use of poison gas.

Martin Kugler, a spokesman for the Habsburgs, said Karl was being treated unfairly.

"As emperor, Karl pushed a comprehensive social programme. He appointed the world's first social affairs minister and protected tenants and children.

"He instituted worker protection and a family's right to social security. The essence of these measures remain in place today."

The Habsburg empire ruled much of central Europe for 640 years until 1918.

Karl I took the throne in 1916, but abdicated in 1918. After being escorted out of the country by the British, he died in exile on Madeira in 1922 at the age of 34.

His beatification is the 1,340th of the Pope's 26-year tenure - more than all his predecessors combined.

• Sister Anne Catherine Emmerick, a German nun dubbed "Mel's Muse" for the inspiration her writings gave Mel Gibson for his film The Passion of the Christ, is to be beatified tomorrow, despite accusations of anti-semitism.

Gibson took ideas from her book The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ for his crucifixion scenes.
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Vardoger

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Being able to release a longer than usual fart seems to be enough be to canonised these days.
 

escargot

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Just came across a local newspaper cutting from about January this year about a cople who were expecting twin girls. The babies were suffering from a condition wich normally kills one twin.

They were so desperate that they went to church to ask the minister for help and after a blessing the the babies spontaneously recovered.

No saints involved, just prayer & faith.
 

Mighty_Emperor

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Synod to consider ‘miracle’ of paralysed man who walked

By Jean Christou

THE Holy Synod looks set to discuss how a paralysed Greek Cypriot man, Marios Stylianou, got out of his wheelchair and walked last Saturday on a visit to the church of the Apostle Barnabas in the north.

It was also reported yesterday that the icon of the Apostle inside the church near occupied Famagusta had started shedding tears. Weeping icons are also not a new phenomenon in Cyprus, but none have officially been declared miraculous by the Church.

According to reports, the Bishop of Arsinoe has said the Synod will probably discuss what happened to Stylianou, who had been left paralysed after an operation of a slipped disc in the UK last year.

Neurologist Michalis Protopapas told the Cyprus Mail earlier in the week that he had no explanation for what had happened other than the possibility that it was a miracle.

The doctor added yesterday that Stylianou did not want any more publicity.
Stylianou says the miracle happened after a vision of Barnabas appeared to him in a dream, asking him to write a book about the apostle’s life and then visit his grave; then he would walk again.

However, the Church is being cautious about proclaiming the case a miracle. The Bishop of Arsinoe said the Church did not rule out miracles but would not jump to any immediate conclusions.

Echoing his comments, Bishop Chrysostomos of Paphos, who is acting head of the Church, told the Cyprus Mail yesterday he would prefer not to make any judgments, saying it had not happened on his “territory”. If he had, he said he would be more than willing to give a lengthy statement. “I believe in miracles but we should not accept them at a glance,” he said. “It needs analysis.”

A miracle is defined as an event or effect contrary to the established constitution and course of things, or a deviation from the known laws of nature, or a supernatural event. Usually, something is termed a miracle when there is no other explanation. It only refers to something good.

However, there are views outside the standard religious position that could account for what are deemed miracles. The power of the mind has long been investigated, and the possibility does exist that people, instead of just being the passive recipients of a divine action, may be more involved than they even realise. The Church calls it faith, which is essentially an unshakable certain belief in a particular outcome.

Spiritual healer Peter Pavlides said Stylianou walked on Saturday because of his strong belief in the fact the Apostle Barnabas told him that once he visited his grave, he would walk. After that the entire focus of his mind was geared towards that goal and the underlying desire for that to happen. In other words, it became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

“Men are powerful and belief helps,” said Pavlides, but added that the power still comes from higher. “This man took his anger, his pain and his belief and worked towards his goal.”

He said it was possibly part of Stylianou’s life lesson to spend some time in a wheelchair, because that is where he found the time to pray and mediate.
“This leads to clear thinking.”

Thinking creates an image, images control feelings and desires, feelings and desires cause actions and actions create results, according to proponents of the “power of the mind” theories. Everyone can do it, they argue, even non-believers: all they need to do is believe they can.

As Christ told his disciples: “If you have enough faith you can move mountains.”

“Sometimes things go beyond what we are taught in this world,” said Pavlides, but he added: “A miracle is a miracle and there are plenty every day that we don’t hear about.”


---------------------
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2005
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rynner2

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Vardoger said:
Being able to release a longer than usual fart seems to be enough be to canonised these days.
Oh good!

I should be high up the list of contenders, then!
 
A

Anonymous

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A genuine Dutch miracle was celebrated here, last week:
Eucharistic Miracle
Amsterdam, Holland -- 1345



In 1345, a man who was a devout Catholic became very ill. He told his family he would like to receive Holy Viaticum. The family notified the pastor of the then known Old Church. The priest, after administering the sacrament, advised the family, if the ill man threw up (which he was known to do after taking nourishment) they were to empty the contents in the fire. The man threw up and the family did what they were advised to do by the priest, they threw the contents in the fire in the sick room. This incident occurred on March 12th.

Early the next morning, one of the women went to rake the fire and she noticed in the middle of the grate, the Blessed Sacrament in the form of host. A light surrounded it. The woman became upset and immediately put her hand in the fire to rescue the host. This she did without any ill effects to herself. She did not burn her hand. The woman was surprised to find the host was cold! She immediately called in a neighbor and asked her to take the Sacred Host to her home. The neighbor took a clean cloth, placed the host on it and locked it in a box. She then took it home. When the husband of the woman who found the host heard what had taken place, he requested to see it. He tried to lift it off the white cloth it rested on but the Sacred Particle resisted as if to say it did not want to be touched by this man's hands.

A priest was then summoned who took the host and placed it in a pyx. When he went to wash the cloth which held the Blessed Sacrament and return it to the original box, he noticed the pyx was upset and the host was gone!

The next morning the neighbor returned for her original box and cloth. When she opened the locked box she once again found the Sacred Host in it! There was then no doubt that Our Lord wanted this miracle to made known! The priest notified the clergy of Amsterdam and a procession was held to carry the host to the church.

The home of the sick man soon became a chapel and as early as 1360 public processions and pilgrims traveled to the site of the miracle.

On May 25, 1452, a large conflagration broke out which left three fourths of the city in ruins. It was during this time, the chapel known as the Holy Room became subject to the flames. Strangely, the monstrance containing the Miraculous Host, (which had been brought over to the chapel from the old church) was spared. In 1456, a new Holy Room was built surrounded by a beautiful church.

Many pilgrims went to visit the shrine seeking cures and spiritual help. One pilgrim, archduke Maximilian, later a Roman Emperor, came seeking a cure in 1480. God heard his prayer and he was cured. In thanksgiving, the archduke dedicated a beautiful window to the Holy Room.

By the second half of the sixteenth century, Catholics in Amsterdam fell under persecution of the Protestants. The Holy Room fell under Protestant rule. In 1910, rather than sell the property to the Catholics, the chapel was torn down. However, devotion to this Eucharistic Miracle still takes place on March 12th at the church nearest the site.

by Andrea Erfort, Gospa Missions staff writer
Reference: Moments Divine, Fr. Frederick A. Reuter, K.C.B.S.


http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/holland.html
I missed out on press photos of the little group of worshippers making their way through the Red Light District in the city's 'Old Quarter'. '
 

Mighty_Emperor

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JUAZEIRO DO NORTE JOURNAL

In the Backlands of Brazil, a Stony Path to Sainthood

By LARRY ROHTER

Published: March 25, 2005

JUAZEIRO DO NORTE, Brazil, March 24 - At Mass here one day in 1889, a woman receiving communion declared that the Host had turned to blood in her mouth. Though local people thought it a miracle, the Roman Catholic Church was not pleased, and eventually suspended the Rev. Cicero Romão Batista, the priest involved, from his duties.

But Father Cicero's fame as a miracle worker continued to spread, so much so that today people all over Brazil, the country with the largest Roman Catholic population in the world, believe him to be a saint. Now, to the joy of the followers who flock here each year during Holy Week, on his March 24 birthday and on other salient dates, the same ecclesiastical hierarchy that shunned and persecuted their beloved "Spiritual Guide and Intermediary" is finally moving to rehabilitate him.

"Father Cicero was a controversial figure whose actions unsettled a lot of people, as the actions of all prophets do," said Fernando Panico, the Roman Catholic bishop here since 2001. "But we cannot deny he always remained faithful to the church despite his suffering, nor can we remain indifferent to the symbolic expression of faith that he represents for the people."

Each year, some two million pilgrims visit the sites and shrines associated with Father Cicero here in the heart of Brazil's arid northeastern backlands. There is the chapel where he is buried, the house where he died, the church where he was once a parish priest, a museum and, looming high atop a mountainside over this city of 225,000, an 80-foot alabaster statue of him, his distinctive flat-brimmed hat and walking stick in hand.

Encouraged by the church's change of attitude, Father Cicero's disciples are hoping that he can quickly be beatified and canonized. Bishop Panico said that "good will seems to exist in Rome," but also talked of a long and complicated process.

Whenever that process begins, Father Cicero's followers are confident they will have no shortage of miracles to support their cause. At the "House of Miracles" here, the floor is piled high with wood, plastic and wax models of arms, legs, hands, feet, heads and thoraxes, left by pilgrims who credit Father Cicero for their startling recoveries from fatal diseases and accidents.

There are also photographs and letters of gratitude, many written in the shaky penmanship of the unschooled. But other testimonials thank Father Cicero for victories in lawsuits or for being awarded university degrees, and a well-known pop singer has left a memento crediting the priest's intercession with allowing him to score a comeback hit record and survive a car crash.

Local people say that even Bishop Panico has benefited from Father Cicero's healing powers. When the bishop announced a couple of years ago that he had cancer, pilgrims began a campaign of prayer for his recovery. He is now in remission, and while he was hesitant to talk of a miracle, others were not.

"Father Cicero is a prophet, a saint, a divine being who has the power to bestow innumerable graces on those who have faith in him," said Maria Pereira Cordeiro, a 64-year-old retiree. "I'm not a lettered person, but I think that God sent Dom Fernando to help the church recognize Father Cicero's greatness."

But the veneration of Father Cicero is more than just a religious phenomenon. Barred from his priestly duties, he turned to politics. He became the first mayor of this city, which today calls itself "The Capital of Faith," and later was chosen lieutenant governor of his home state and elected to Congress, though he never served in either post.

He died on July 20, 1934, at 90. "Among the lower classes, there was the sensation that Father Cicero would soon return with the declaration of the millennium and the liberation of the poor," said Ralph della Cava, author of the leading work in English on Father Cicero and an expert on popular religiosity in Brazil.

With time, that sentiment has passed, replaced "by a sense that Father Cicero is as much a miracle worker or intermediary before the Godhead as any of the legitimate saints of the church," added Dr. della Cava, a senior research associate at the Institute of Latin American Studies at Columbia University.

While the Roman Catholic Church continued to be skittish about embracing Father Cicero and his legacy, others were not. For years, any politician running for national or state office has had to make a stop in Juazeiro do Norte; some candidates and elected officials even pay for the chartered buses and overcrowded trucks, known as "parrot perches," that bring pilgrims here.

One factor in the church's recent turnabout may be that the army of pilgrims is simply too powerful a spiritual force to ignore. When fundamentalist Protestant denominations are challenging the Roman Catholic Church's dominance all over Brazil, it makes more sense to view Father Cicero's devotees as allies, rather than fanatics or schismatics.

"Thanks to the pilgrims and their faith, the evangelical churches are not making many inroads here," Bishop Panico said. "Father Cicero is like an antivirus."

Manoel de Lima Sousa, pastor of an Assembly of God church that is within sight of the giant statue, acknowledged that it had been more difficult to convert Catholics in this region than in other parts of Brazil. He described Father Cicero as "a great man whose memory deserves respect and who did many admirable things for the people," but also said that evangelical groups could not in good faith accept the cult that had grown up around him.

A few traditional local families offended by Father Cicero's zeal for defending the poor also continue to express doubts about his rehabilitation. But there seems to be no way to stop yet another miracle in Juazeiro.

"The church waited 500 years to acknowledge that it had made a mistake in condemning Galileo," said André Herzog Cardoso, rector of the Cariri Regional University here. "I don't think it is going to commit the same error this time. It's a question of survival."
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Mighty_Emperor

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Well now you can sort out this sainthood thing a bit more easily. The #cough# Church of Reformed Unimentalists will sign up anyone as a saint in their "Church" for £35:

www.yousaint.com
 

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Cardinal Saraiva Martins to lead November beatifications

Cardinal Saraiva Martins to lead November beatifications

Sep. 30 (CWNews.com) - Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, will preside at beatification ceremonies for Charles de Foucauld and two Italian nuns-- Maria Pia Mastena, and Maria Crocifissa Curcio-- on November 13.

In new norms for beatification ceremonies, published by L'Osservatore Romano on September 29, the Vatican announced that the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints will ordinarily preside at beatifications. Pope Benedict indicated, early in his pontificate, that he would not lead beatification ceremonies, in order to preserve the distinction between beatification and canonization.

Charles de Foucauld (1858- 1916) was a French soldier who converted to Catholicism, became a monk, and lived as a hermit in southern Algeria, where he was a pioneer of dialogue with Muslims. His beatification had originally been set for May 15, but was postponed-- along with several other similar ceremonies-- when Pope John Paul II (bio - news) became gravely ill. The Vatican took special care in re-secheduling the ceremony, to provide ample time for a delegation from Algeria to make plans to attend.

The beatification of Maria Pina Mastena (1881-1951) and Maria Crocifissa Curcio (1877-1957) had also been scheduled earlier: for April 24. Those ceremonies, too, were delayed because of the death of Pope John Paul. Rescheduling the ceremonies presented no significant difficulties, however, since both were members of religious orders centered in Italy, whose members can readily reach Rome for the ceremonies with little advance notice.

http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=39910
 

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Pope will join beatification celebration for "Lion of M

Pope will join beatification celebration for "Lion of Münster"

Vatican, Oct. 04 (CWNews.com) - Although he will not preside at beatification ceremonies on October 9 for Cardinal Clemens August von Galen, Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) will pay homage to the the German prelate known as the "Lion of Münster" for his opposition to the Nazi regime.

Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, will preside at the beatification ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica. But at the conclusion of the Eucharistic celebration, Pope Benedict will join the faithful in the Vatican basilica, to pray before the relics of the newly beatified German prelate, and to give his blessing to the congregation.

Since the beginning of his pontificate, Benedict XVI has indicated that he will not preside at beatification ceremonies, in order to preserve the distinction between those rituals at canonizations, at which the Pope always presides. "Beatification, which remains a pontifical act, will be presided over by a representative of the Pope," according to new Vatican norms made public on September 29.

Ordinarily, the new norms stipulate, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints will lead the beatification ceremony. Thus Cardinal Saraiva Martins will read the apostolic letter, signed by the Pope, declaring the beatification of Cardinal von Galen.

The date of the beatification ceremony, October 9, is the 1200th anniversary of the founding of the Münster archdiocese, the oldest in Germany, which Cardinal von Galen headed from 1933 to 1943. A large number of pilgrims from that archdiocese were expected to visit Rome on the anniversary; the scheduling of the beatification on the same day ensures a huge congregation.

http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=39975
 

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Pope praises newly beatified Nazi opponent

Pope praises newly beatified Nazi opponent

Vatican, Oct. 10 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) paid homage on Sunday, October 9, to a newly beatified German prelate whose opposition to the Nazi regime "brought the light of truth to shine in times of darkness."

After the beatification ceremonies for Cardinal Clemens August Graf von Galen (1878-1946), at which Cardinal José Saraiva Martins presided, the Holy Father joined the faithful in St. Peter's Basilica to venerate the relics, give his blessing, and deliver a short address.

The Pope asked the pilgrims in the basilica to consider how the man known as the "Lion of Münster" recognized the poison of Nazi ideology "at a time when intelligent people seemed blind," and resisted the regime "when even the strong showed themselves to be weak and vile?" He said that Blessed von Galen "feared God more than he feared Man, and God gave him the courage to do and to say what others dared not say and do."

Pope Benedict continued his praise for Blessed von Galen later, during his Angelus audience, reminding the crowd in St. Peter's Square that the German cardinal "denounced the neo-pagan ideology of National Socialism." The newly beatified prelate offers a lesson to today's Catholics, he said, insofar as he stands for the belief that "faith cannot be reduced to a private emotion, which can perhaps even be hidden when it becomes inconvenient."

Thousands of German pilgrims were on hand for the beatification, and their applause filled the Vatican basilica when-- after the reading of the apostolic letter in which Pope Benedict formally declared Cardinal von Galen blessed-- a large portrait of the cardinal was unfurled. The date chosen for the beatification ceremonies had coincided with the 1,200th anniversary of the founding of the Münster diocese, the oldest in Germany.

Cardinal von Galen was the leading voice of opposition to the Nazi regime within the German Catholic hierarchy of that era. He repeatedly denounced the brutal Nazi racial and eugenic policies, particularly in three famous sermons delivered in 1941, which earned him the enmity of Hitler's regime. Raised to the College of Cardinals at the war's end, he died shortly after receiving the red hat.

http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=40077
 

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Pope Benedict canonizes 5, closing Year of the Eucharist

Pope Benedict canonizes 5, closing Year of the Eucharist

Vatican, Oct. 24 (CWNews.com) - As he presided at the first canonizations of his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) also reflected on the conclusions o the Synod of Bishops: reaffirming the importance of priestly celibacy, insisting that faith cannot be separated from daily life, and voicing regret that Chinese bishops were unable to attend the Synod meetings.

The solemn Mass celebrated by the Pope in St. Peter's Square also marked the official closing of the Year of the Eucharist, opened by Pope John Paul II (bio - news), and the observance of World Mission Sunday. Moreover the 2-hour ceremony saw the canonization of Sts. Jozef Bilczewksi, Zygmunt Gorazdowski, Gaetano Catanoso, Felice da Nicosia, and Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga.

In his homily the Holy Father spoke of the Eucharist: the theme of the deliberations just concluded by the Synod of Bishops. "Contemplation of the Eucharist must impel all members of the Church-- beginning with priests the ministers of the Eucharist-- to revive their commitment to faithfulness," the Pope said. Speaking of celibacy as a "precious gift" that signals the total commitment of priests, he continued: "Eucharistic spirituality must be the inner force for all their activities."

Pope Benedict sent his "fraternal greetings to the bishops of the Church in China," expressing his "heartfelt sorrow" that they were not able to travel to Rome, but assuring them that he and the Synod fathers "remain close to them, to their priests, and to their faithful."

The Pope said that it was "providential" that the closing of the Synod and of the Eucharistic Year coincided with World Mission Sunday and with the canonization of 5 saints who "nourished by Christ, the living bread, converted themselves in love that left its imprint on their entire lives."

Speaking briefly about each of the new saints, the Holy Father said that St. Jozef Bilczewski (1860- 1923), a Ukrainian bishop, was a man of "profound theological knowledge, faith, and Eucharistic devotion" which make him a model for priests and the faithful. St. Zygmunt Gorazdowski (1845- 1920), a Ukrainian priest, was "famous for his devotion rooted in the celebration and adoration of the Eucharist," and this devotion fired his zeal for serving the poor. St. Alberto Hurtado Cruchago (1901- 1952), a Chilean Jesuit priest, "wanted to identify himself with the Lord and to love the poor with the Lord's own love." St. Gaetano Catanoso (1879- 1963) put "daily Mass and frequent adoration of the Sacrament of the altar at the sould of his priestly ministry." And St. Felice da Nicosia (1715 - 1787), a Capuchin, was "austere and penitent, faithful to the most genuine expressions of the Franciscan tradition."

The canonization ceremony, at which more than 300 bishops concelebrates, was the first of this pontificate. Pope John Paul II had set a record by canonizing 483 saints during his 26-year pontificate.

http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=40337
 

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Pope put on the road to sainthood

Pope put on the road to sainthood
Adam Easton
BBC News, Warsaw



Leaders of the Roman Catholic church in Poland have met in Krakow considering evidence for the beatification of the late Pope John Paul II.
It is a process that could ultimately lead to him being named a saint.

Five Church officials were appointed to hear testimony about the life of John Paul, who died in April, and spent half of his life in the city.

The ceremonies began with a Mass in the Cathedral where almost 50 years ago the pope officiated as a young priest.

Leading the service was John Paul II's former private secretary, Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz.

Afterwards five church officials were sworn in as members of a tribunal.

Their job will be to hear testimony from people who knew the late pope.

Private testimony

The evidence will be given behind closed doors.

Even the list of witnesses is private, but the media here have reported around 100 people will testify, including Archbishop Dziwisz.

Pope Benedict XVI launched the beatification proceedings in June.

He waived the customary five-year waiting period to start the process following public calls to name John Paul II a saint as soon as possible.

But Church leaders here say the procedure will take time and is unlikely to be completed before Benedict's scheduled trip to Poland next June.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/w ... 409070.stm

Published: 2005/11/05 03:17:06 GMT

© BBC MMV
 

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Vatican Sees Sainthood for Mother of 11

Vatican Sees Sainthood for Mother of 11
By FRANCES D'EMILIO, Associated Press Writer
Sun Nov 6, 6:48 PM ET



An Italian mother who raised 11 children moved ahead on the road to possible sainthood Sunday amid a Vatican campaign in favor of large families.

Eurosia Fabris, known as "Mamma Rosa," raised two children whose mother died while they were little, then married their father and had nine children with him.

The virtues of Fabris, who died in 1932, were honored Sunday in a beatification ceremony in Vicenza, near her native farming village in northern Italy. Beatification is the last formal step before possible sainthood.

On Wednesday, Pope Benedict XVI praised large families and called for countries to approve legislation and other incentives to help them. The pontiff has said there is no future without children.

Presiding over the ceremony in Vicenza's cathedral was Cardinal Jose Maria Saraiva Martins, who heads the Vatican office overseeing the process for sainthood.

Benedict's predecessor, John Paul II, stressed the importance of providing role models from daily life for Roman Catholic faithful.

"Mamma Rosa ... was comforting proof" that sainthood can come in the dailiness of life, said Saraiva Martins, who praised the woman for "the sweetness of her motherhood."

Fabris was singled out by Vatican Radio as being a "dazzling model of holiness lived out in daily family life."

"She knew how to transform her very large family into a school of holiness," Vatican Radio said on the eve of the ceremony.

The average number of children per woman in the European Union is 1.5, according to EU statistics, but in some countries, including heavily Roman Catholic Italy and Spain, the average is 1.3.

Benedict has described large families as useful witnesses to "faith, courage and optimism" in society.

Fabris, who was born in 1866, was described as being deeply religious from her childhood. Besides the 11 children she raised, Fabris welcomed other children in need into her home. Three of her children became priests and another child became a nun.

While John Paul used to lead the beatification ceremonies himself in St. Peter's Square or abroad while on pilgrimages, Benedict delegates top cardinals for the duty. However, he recently presided over a canonization, the ceremony to raise faithful to sainthood.

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Rabbi Angry At Canonisation

A gloomier picture was painted by the chief rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni, who created a stir last month when he refused to attend a ceremony in Rome marking the 40th anniversary of Nostra Aetate.

Rabbi Di Segni said he snubbed the event because of the presence of one of the keynote speakers, Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, a Jewish convert to Christianity.

“This is symbolic of a problem” in relations, he said. “What do Christians want from us? Do they want us converted?”

He cited another sore point, the Vatican’s canonization of Edith Stein, a Jewish-born nun who was murdered at Auschwitz as a Jew.

“This is not a casual process,” Rabbi Di Segni said. “This is a well-directed process.”

He said some Catholics refer to Stein as “the new Esther.”

There are other problems “every day.” He cited the case of a 90-year-old infirm Jewish man in Florence who was baptized. When the local bishop found out, he said it wouldn’t happen again.

“This is dialogue?” Rabbi Di Segni asked.

Catholics, he said, tend to regard Jews “like a beautiful piece of silver on a shelf to be shown to guests, but not as a vibrant religious people that has a mission and strength.”

The two faiths have had 40 years to implement mutual respect, but Rabbi Di said he can’t agree that “the era of suspicion is finished.”

The conference was capped by a dinner that featured performances from the St. Michael’s Boys Choir and the Renanim Youth Choir.
http://www.cjnews.com/viewarticle.asp?id=7823
 

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Miracle reported; could speed John Paul's canonization

Rome, Nov. 30 (CWNews.com) - The inexplicable healing of a French nun could be the miracle that paves the way for beatification of Pope John Paul II (bio - news).

The Roman news agency I Media has learned that a French nun who was dying of cancer experienced a sudden and complete cure in October, after the members of her community prayed for the intercession of the late Pope John Paul. In accordance with Vatican rules, the identity of the nun is not being revealed, as doctors conduct a thorough study of her case. If a miracle is confirmed, it would speed the cause for the Polish Pontiff's beatification.

During a visit to Rome on November 29, Archbishop Stanislas Dziwisz, the longtime secretary to the late Pope, confirmed that the reported miracle in France had been selected for scrutiny in connection with Pope John Paul's cause.

"There is no problem about miracles" in the promotion of John Paul's cause, "because there are many of them-- really quite a few," Archbishop Dziwisz said. He said that the nun's cure was selected for study in part because the facts of the case seemed clear, but also because France is "a country where it wasn't expected."

"The process for beatification is going very well," the Polish archbishop reported. "We are hoping to be finished by March 2006."

Archbishop Dziwisz, who now heads the Krakow archdiocese where Pope John Paul was once the cardinal-archbishop, has opened an investigation there into the life and virtues of the late Pope. "The testimonies are numerous," he said, adding that the challenge is to find "the most accurate, to show the personality of John Paul II." He went on to say that testimony is being collected from many different countries, "because the Pontiff belonged to the whole universal Church, not just to one nation."

The main investigation into the life of John Paul II is unfolding in Rome. (Under the rules for the process, a cause for beatification is opened in the diocese where the candidate died.) The tribunal in Krakow is an offshoot of the investigation in Rome. And a separate inquiry has now been opened in France to study the reported miracle.

The cause for beatification of John Paul II was opened in Rome on June 28 by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the vicar for the Rome diocese. There the tribunal is compiling a complete dossier on the Pope's life, which will be forwarded to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. This dossier will include the work of the Krakow panel.

Archbishop Dziwisz-- who is in Rome with a group of Polish bishops on their ad limina visit-- was appointed in June to be Archbishop of Krakow. Thus he now holds the post that the then-Archbishop Karol Wojtyla occupied when he chose the younger Father Dziwisz to become his personal secretary-- a job he continued to fulfill during John Paul's pontificate. Archbishop Dziwisz regarded the Pope as his spiritual father, and was named by the Pontiff, in his last will and testament, to care for John Paul's private papers and personal property.

"It isn't easy to be the successor of such a great man," said the Polish archbishop. I Media reports that before his death, Pope John Paul left the suggestion that his loyal secretary should be named the next Archbishop of Krakow.

Today, Archbishop Dziwisz said, John Paul II "is not absent; I can tell you that he is even more present than before." The influence of the Polish Pontiff continues to shape the world's thought, he observed. And "Benedict XVI helps with that, because he always recalls him to mind." During a trip to Poland that is tentatively scheduled for June 2006, the new Pope will visit Krakow to pay tribute to his predecessor.

http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=41004
 

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Papal spokesman hopes for quick beatification of John Paul II

Rome, Jan. 20 (CWNews.com) - Joaquin Navarro-Valls, the director of the Vatican press office, disclosed that he is hoping for the rapid beatification of Pope John Paul II (bio - news).

Speaking to an Italian television audience on Thursday night, the longtime spokesman for the late Pontiff said that "I am convinced of his holiness."

Msgr. Slamowir Oder, the Polish cleric who is postulator of the cause for beatification of John Paul II, told the Roman news agency I Media that he, too, hopes for a quick conclusion of the process. However, the postulator declined to set any date for the end of the initial inquiry. "We have to do things in a scrupulous fashion," he said, noting that the results of the beatification inquiry must stand up to the tests of history. The process will include a careful consideration of any reasoned opposition to the late Pope's beatification, he said. Moreover, the inquiry is collecting a prodigious amount of testimony, which must be weighed carefully. Msgr. Oder disclosed that, in answer to a request for written testimony on the life and virtues of John Paul II, the beatification inquiry has received more than 2 million letters, from all around the world.

Navarro-Valls, who has continued to act as chief spokesman for Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news), said his close contact with John Paul II enabled him to witness the late Pope's personal sanctity. During the television interview he dwelt at length on the intensity of John Paul's prayer life. He recalled one occasion when, arriving for a meeting with the Pontiff, he was told that the Pope was praying in his private chapel, and he could wait for him there.

"I went in and waited quietly," Navarro-Valls recalled. "About 40 minutes went by, and John Paul never moved." Finally, he said, the Pope turned, noticed his presence, and apologized for keeping him waiting.


http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=41949
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As if posting other peoples words make the grade? Sorry,no points. :)

:!:
 

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As if posting other peoples words make the grade? Sorry,no points.
:?:

you talking to me??

thats what we do here. post news items we come across in various media. have a look round at the various threads sometime. we also post our own opinions.
 

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Is Nyerere`s process to sainthood timely?

24 Jan 2006
By Deogratias Mushi

It is Monday afternoon May 12, 1995 in Nairobi Kenya.
My Chief Editor, Father Henry Simaru of Mwananchi newspaper, a Catholic publication owned by Kenya Catholic Secretariat in Nairobi gives me an assignment.

He directs me to go to Huruma Estate on the outskirts of the city, to the Sisters of Charity convent.

He assigns me to go and interview Mother Theresa of Calcutta, who was paying her ordinary visit to some of her nuns devoted to charitable work in East Africa, especially among the abandoned poor people.

I pick the office phone and call the local superior of the same congregation in Nairobi, requesting for an appointment.

`No need for appointment sir` She answers me, adding that there was no need to fix any prior appointment, as Mother Teresa speaks to everybody who happens to visit the House on that particular day.

I take the office car and arrive at the convent`s compound after a short while.

I find thousands of people waiting to see or simply touch the habit of that Yugoslavian nun.

By then, rumours had started spreading in various parts of the world, claiming Mother Teresa `was a living saint`.

I found Mother Teresa sitting in a simple room, talking to different people in turns. Others went to see her for spiritual counseling, while some presented to her in person, their financial and material assistance for her charitable work.

At Huruma Estate convent, most of the people I found there were Hindus, Muslims and Christians (both Catholics and Protestants), all waiting to see Mother Teresa.

They were all alleging that Mother Teresa was a holy person, though they didn`t know virtues that Catholics use to declare its faithful a saint.

I had to wait for almost six hours, and at last, I managed to interview mother Theresa, and in fact, that was one of the best interviews I have ever conducted in my career as a journalist.

I have taken Mother Theresa`s example, to show how her process to sainthood is clearer than that of our Father of the Nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, which was inaugurated in Butiama, Mara region, last Saturday.

While Mother Theresa`s process is self-evident, in a way that of Mwalimu Nyerere might take a longer process. Why am I saying so?

The formal process of sainthood involves a complicated process taking time, money, testimonies, and miracles, and the church follows a strict set of rules in the process.

Whether the Catholic Diocese of Musoma can afford the same expenses, we can hardly tell at this point.

First, to determine who qualifies, the Vatican looks to its Congregation for the ``Causes of Saints``. Typically, his or her admirers who persuade him that the life of the candidate was a model of holiness present a would-be candidate`s ``cause`` to the local bishop.

On the case of Mwalimu Nyerere, local Catholics, and in fact, Tanzanians should be told who have been his admirers, and why they have decided to do so.

The process to sainthood further says that once the applicant is approved as a candidate, an appointed postulator interviews those who knew the individual.

Personal testimonies, letters, and writings of the candidate’s are put together.

With the spirit of openness, can the local church now avail such documents, to enable the public assert Nyerere`s credibility to sanctity?

After the above process is enhanced, a person referred to, as `relater` will sift through this information and prepares a position paper about life of Mwalimu Nyerere.

If the volumes of evidence prove a life of ``heroic virtue``, the Pope will give him the title ``venerable``.

The next title, beatified (blessed), is attained if it can be proven that a miracle occurred after the death of the candidate, the result of someone praying to that person for help.

To finalize a canonization, it must be established that a second miracle occurred. (Martyrs are the exception.

The pope can reduce their miracle requirement to one or waive it altogether.) Most often prayer requests are for a physical healing.

Verifying a miracle is considered the most difficult hurdle in the process. Just deciding what constitutes one causes debate. A life of heroic virtue is obviously easier to establish than a healing that results from prayers.

Taking into consideration the above points, Nyerere`s process to sainthood might take a long time, and will in fact cost the local church some good amount of money.

There are some underground discussions going on among different groups of people, arguing why should the Catholic Church declare Nyerere a saint.

Some people take an example of Sister Scholastica of the Benedictine congregation in Songea archdiocese whose rumours about sanctity have started circulating among ordinary people, even without the help of a local bishop.

Since she died, some people say, ‘miracles’ linked to the place she was buried have been happening, and sadly enough, the Catholic Church is still silent on the issue.

There is another example in Tanga Catholic Diocese, where graves of three early missionaries also show signs that people buried in them lived extra ordinary Christian lives.

The question is. Why has the church not started the process to sainthood to such people, whose causes are clearer than that of Mwalimu Nyerere?

Taking into consideration the history of some saints known to some catholic believers, some catholic believers still fail to see which are the visible spiritual elements, which should bring Nyerere to the communion of saints.

There is no doubt Nyerere was a good leader, who led simple life compared to other African leaders of his time.

He attended Holy Mass every day, and at times he fasted for different intentions. But can these qualities lead him to sainthood?

Don`t many local Catholics practise such deeds even today? The place I was born in Kilimanjaro region, has many people who never miss mass, and they also lead simple lives.

It is true that some local Catholics have perpetuated the same virtues of Mwalimu Nyerere to their own capacities (even better than Nyerere), but the local church has not noticed them, simply because, that is what is expected from their faith.

I ask myself, why is there lack of enthusiasm among Catholics concerning Nyerere`s process to sainthood? You can hardly hear ordinary people, expressing their satisfaction concerning Nyerere`s process to sainthood.

This is not because they hated him or he was not a good person, but simply because they fail to associate his spiritual life and the process to sanctity.

Let the Catholic Church, and in this sense, the Diocese of Musoma, avail the dossier about Mwalimu Nyerere`s process to sainthood, so that people may understand the extra ordinary spiritual virtues that Mwalimu possessed.

Ordinary people should be helped understand why has the church begun this process.

In other countries where such a process begins, people in their thousands start visiting the grave of the person, just to go and pray for spiritual favours.

In our case, are there groups planning to visit Mwalimu`s graves for spiritual motives? I would say `not many`.

http://www.ippmedia.com/ipp/guardian/20 ... 58455.html
 

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A Feast for the Faithful
Day of celebration honors Blessed Mother Marianne
Monday, January 23, 2006
By Renée K. Gadoua
Staff writer
With sounds of Hawaii and a copy of a banner unfurled at the May 14 beatification of Blessed Mother Marianne in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, a packed cathedral Sunday celebrated the first feast day of the former Syracuse Franciscan who ministered to patients with leprosy for 35 years.

" 'I am hungry for the work,' " Sister Patricia Burkard quoted Mother Marianne as writing in 1883 after she volunteered to serve in Hawaii.

"Her words also are the legacy to each sister of St. Francis that we take to heart as we labor to build God's kingdom on earth," Burkard, general minister of the Syracuse-based Sisters of St. Francis, said to more than 500 people at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 259 E. Onondaga St., Syracuse.

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Today is the first feast day of Mother Marianne since she was beatified - or declared blessed by the church - in May. Sunday's anticipated Mass was one of several celebrations in Syracuse, Utica and Hawaii marking the annual event, which falls on Mother Marianne's birthday.

A year ago, Sister Burkard and a delegation of Franciscans from Syracuse and Hawaii witnessed the exhumation of Mother Marianne's remains from her grave site on Kalaupapa, an isolated peninsula on the Hawaiian island of Molokai.

The Franciscan grew up in Utica, helped found St. Elizabeth Hospital in Utica and St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center in Syracuse and was elected leader of the women's religious community. She died on Kalaupapa in 1918 after 30 years working there, setting standards for both health care and human compassion. She is a candidate for sainthood, placing her at the pinnacle of the church's spiritual role models.

Church rules require that Mother Marianne's remains be exhumed, identified and placed in an accessible shrine as part of the beatification process. For nearly a year, her remains have been in a casket at the Motherhouse Chapel of the Sisters of St. Francis on Syracuse's North Side, where the sisters will eventually create a permanent shrine.

Sunday, employees of Keegan-Osbelt-Knight Funeral Home brought the casket

from the Franciscan chapel to the cathedral for the service.

As the casket was moved down the church's central aisle, sisters sang "Makalapua," a Hawaiian song said to be a favorite of Mother Marianne's.

Accompanying the casket procession were Barbara Ames, a relative of Mother Marianne's; Sister Rosanne Lamanche, a Franciscan assigned to work as a nurse on Kalaupapa in 1949; and two Franciscans who have helped research and preserve Mother Marianne's story.

"It's awe-inspiring to see these people come up and be thankful to her," said Ames, a great-great-great-niece of Mother Marianne and a licensed practical nurse in Utica.

In his homily, Syracuse Bishop James Moynihan praised Mother Marianne for her leadership, intelligence and energy.

"Like Isaiah, she said, 'Here I am. Send me,' " he said, referring to the prophet of the Hebrew Bible.

"With her six companion sisters, she left everything behind," Moynihan continued. "For the next 35 years she lived to the full Christ's command to love God and our neighbor."

Renee K. Gadoua can be reached at 470-2203 or [email protected]m


Nun
 
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ramonmercado said:
As if posting other peoples words make the grade? Sorry,no points.
:?:

you talking to me??

thats what we do here. post news items we come across in various media. have a look round at the various threads sometime. we also post our own opinions.
Sorry, I have never come across this in a Board before. :( Seems a little like a waste of Board resources, when brief comment and a link would suffice. But that's just me. :)

:D
 

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well look throughout the threads here, the song remains the same. Some of the threads are years old; links die. Its useful to have all of the info gathered in one place.

Post long and prosper. :D
 

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Ah! An Anglican Saint, that would make a nice change.

Episcopalians Weigh Sainthood for Marshall
Delegates at Diocese's Convention to Vote on Initiating Process to Honor Former Justice

By Caryle Murphy
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 27, 2006; B09



When Thurgood Marshall died 13 years ago this week, he left behind a life of historic accomplishments: Intrepid warrior against Jim Crow. Architect of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education desegregation case. First black Supreme Court justice.

Now, some of Marshall's fellow Episcopalians are saying that the spiritual hallmark of his life -- his Christian commitment to racial justice -- qualifies him for special recognition. They think the Episcopal Church should name him a saint.

Delegates to the annual convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington will vote today on the proposal, the first step in a long process. If Marshall is added to the church's roster of saints, May 17 -- the date of the 1954 Supreme Court ruling that segregated schools are unconstitutional -- would be observed as Marshall Feast Day.

Church officials say they expect the 300 or so delegates to approve the resolution, which was drawn up by members of St. Augustine's Church in Southwest Washington, where Marshall worshiped.

"I haven't heard anyone say it's a bad idea," said Jim Naughton, spokesman for Bishop John Bryson Chane, who will preside at today's assembly at Washington National Cathedral.

When it comes to sainthood, Episcopalians follow a looser procedure than the Roman Catholic Church, which conducts a rigorous investigation into the life of any saint-to-be and requires proof that he or she performed at least two miracles. Candidates for Episcopal sainthood should be figures who displayed traits such as "heroic faith," "joyousness" and "service to others for Christ's sake," according to church guidelines.

Although Marshall did not speak publicly about his faith, it meant a great deal to him, said his widow, Cecilia Marshall, 78, who plans to be present when the resolution comes up for a vote.

"I believe if it weren't for his faith, he wouldn't have accomplished as much as he has," she said.

Marshall, who died of heart failure on Jan. 24, 1993, at the age of 84, was a lifelong Episcopalian. Born in Baltimore to a Pullman car porter and a schoolteacher, he graduated from Howard University's law school in 1933.

The great-grandson of a slave, he spent 30 years traveling the South, filing lawsuits on behalf of the NAACP's Legal Defense and Educational Fund. On at least three occasions, he was threatened with lynching.

In 1938, Marshall joined St. Philip's Church in Harlem while living in New York. After President Lyndon B. Johnson named him solicitor general in 1965, he and Cecilia moved to the District and joined St. Augustine's.

In written testimonies accompanying the resolution, Episcopalians say Marshall revealed his faith in his work.

"The Spirit working through this man gave him an intuitive sense of justice in which he saw all of life as sacred and all persons equal before God," wrote the Rev. William S. Pregnall, former rector of St. Augustine's.

If the Washington delegates vote to make Marshall a saint, the resolution will need to be approved by two consecutive national conventions. The next national convention will be in June, and the one after that, in 2009.

The names of such saints are entered in a liturgical text called the Book of Lesser Feasts and Fasts -- "lesser" because these are not the primary feast days of the liturgical year, such as those dedicated to the Apostles.

"We're declaring [as saints] people who've given great Christian witness and played a unique role in the life of the church," said the Rev. Bruce Eberhardt, who wrote the resolution with his wife, Janet. "We don't pray to them. . . . It's very different from the Roman Catholic Church."

As far as miracles, Eberhardt added, "we think the miracle of Thurgood was turning this country around, changing the way we are."

One possible obstacle is that the national convention is considering a resolution stating that people should not be considered for sainthood until 50 years after their death.

"We're hoping we can argue that just as Martin Luther King Jr. has been in this book for some time now, Marshall deserves equal ranking," Eberhardt said.

Eberhardt, a retired priest and a member of St. Augustine's, said that a former rector of that parish, the Rev. John Talbott, tried to have Marshall named a saint in 1994, but "people thought it was too early [after his death] to make this move."

Talbott urged Eberhardt to try again, and the vestry at St. Augustine's approved the effort in May.

Cecilia Marshall said she felt "humbled and honored" by the proposal to name her husband a saint. She added that she had no role in the effort, "except to give my approval."

Her husband "never thought of himself as a saint," she said, noting that he declined several times to see the stained-glass window dedicated to him in San Francisco's Grace Cathedral. "He never went to look at it. He felt he just wasn't worthy of it."

She added: "I used to kid my husband. I said, you better go and look at it; that's the closest you'll ever get to heaven."

WP
 

Anome

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Hmm, we of the Anglican church don't really do canonisation. We leave that up to the Catholics.
 

ramonmercado

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firstly, the anglican church is a catholic communion. (ask your vicar about it).

secondly the episcopalians are part of anglican communion, although they are a tad too liberal for some.

as far as i'm aware, the church of england has a similar ritual for canonisation as described below.

When it comes to sainthood, Episcopalians follow a looser procedure than the Roman Catholic Church, which conducts a rigorous investigation into the life of any saint-to-be and requires proof that he or she performed at least two miracles. Candidates for Episcopal sainthood should be figures who displayed traits such as "heroic faith," "joyousness" and "service to others for Christ's sake," according to church guidelines.
 

Anome

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ramonmercado said:
firstly, the anglican church is a catholic communion. (ask your vicar about it).
OK, then. We leave that up to the Roman Catholics. Happy now?
secondly the episcopalians are part of anglican communion, although they are a tad too liberal for some.
And not liberal enough for others. Anyway that was kind of my point.
 

ramonmercado

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i was speaking to someone who works for the Church of Ireland Representative Body and he tells me there are Anglican fundamentalists; in Ireland at least. They dont believe in Bishops and take the Bible as literal truth (they do shave however, he wasnt sure if they ate shellfish). They are mainly in Northern Ireland.
 

ramonmercado

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Cardinal Ruini foresees beatification of slain priest

Feb. 10 (CWNews.com) - A cause for the beatification of Father Andrea Santoro, the Italian missionary slain in Turkey last Sunday, will be opened as soon as possible, Cardinal Camillo Ruini (bio - news)announced at the priest's funeral.

Cardinal Ruini, the vicar for the Rome diocese, presided at the funeral for the murdered priest, in the basilica of St. John Lateran on February 10. His homily was interrupted by hearty applause when he said that he expected the eventual beatification of Father Santoro.

"In the process of beatification and canonization that I hope will be opened, we must fully respect all the laws and schedules of the Church," the cardinal said. "But today, I am persuaded that all the elements of Christian martyrdom are present in the sacrifice of Father Andrea."

The process for beatification cannot be opened until five years after the candidate's death-- thus, for Father Santoro, not before February 2011. Although the Pope can make an exception to that rule, only two such exceptions have been granted: for the causes of Mother Teresa and of Pope John Paul II (bio - news).

The prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints had been more cautious in his response to questions about the possible beatification of Father Santoro. In remarks to the Italian daily La Reppublica, Cardinal José Saraiva Martins said that he would wait to "really see how things turn out" before discussing the opening of a cause for beatification. He did note, however, that with the death of the Italian priest, "the Church is once again colored in red, the color of the blood of martyrs."

In his tribute to the slain priest, Cardinal Ruini said that Father Santoro's life demonstrated "the courage that martyrs have displayed on many occasions over the course of the centuries." He remarked that the Italian missionary, a priest of the Rome diocese, went to Turkey "to make Christ present in that land where, the Christian faith, in its first days, established deep, strong roots." He added that Father Santoro had firmly believed in the need for a sharing of spiritual gifts between the Eastern and Western Christian traditions, and in dialogue among the three great monotheistic faiths present in Turkey.

Cardinal Ruini indicated that he feels "disdain" for the reports-- which he characterized as "absurd and calumnious"-- that Father Santoro used illicit means to convert Turkish people to Christianity. He said that the Italian missionary had a "rigorous conscience," and scrupulously obeyed the laws of Turkey regarding religious activities-- without ever compromising in his defense of religious freedom, "the mother of all liberties."

The funeral for Father Santoro was attended by thousands of Italian faithful, including a heavy representation of the nation's political leaders.

http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=42350
 
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