Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Cause for Canonization

In recent months I have been watching the progression of the process towards beatification and ultimately, canonization of several "saints in waiting". These are people, who for various reasons, have caught my attention over the years and to whom I have looked for wisdom and inspiration. So in no particular order, here's my list:

Damien de Veuster, SSCC, Leper Priest of Moloki. I read Fr. Damien's story many, many years ago and was amazed by his faithfulness and courage. Fr. Damien's mission was to the lepers of Hawaii during the late 19th century. He died of leprosy in 1889. You can read about Fr. Damien on Fr. Damien was canonized on October 11, 2009.

Pope John Paul II. John Paul the Great is currently on the "fast track" towards beatification. In December, Pope Benedict signed a decree on the virtues of Pope John Paul II, which means that he can be beatified as soon as the Vatican certifies that a miracle attributed to his intercession has occurred.

The late, great Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. Archbishop Sheen returned home to Glory on December 9, 1979. His cause for beatification and canonization was opened in 2002 by the Diocese of Peoria, IL, where Fulton Sheen had been an altar boy at St. Mary's Cathedral. Archbishop Sheen is perhaps best known for his television program, "Life is Worth Living" which aired back in the 1950's & can still be seen on EWTN. His best known writing is perhaps, Life of Christ, a book to which I often turn for study, reflection, and the joy of reading about our Lord's life. Read more about Archbishop Sheen at

And this weekend, January 31, 2010, the cause for beatification and canonization of Maria Esperanza of Venezuela will be officially opened by the Diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey.  Usually known as Maria Esperanza of Betania, Maria received apparitions of our Blessed Mother at Finca, Betania where Mary referred to herself as "Mary, Virgin and Mother, Reconciler of all Peoples and Nations." The apparitions were approved by Bishop Pio Bello Ricardo on November 21, 1987. You can learn more at

Let us pray that all may be found worthy of sainthood and may their prayers join with ours in the Communion of Saints.

If you have a favorite "saint in waiting", I'd love to hear their story. Please feel free to post your comments and favorites here.

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