Miracle Tied to Mother Teresa Opens the Way for Beatification

Church Puts Spotlight on 17 Who Displayed Holiness

Share this Entry

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 20, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Mother Teresa of Calcutta will be beatified next Oct. 19 after the Church officially recognized a miracle tied to her intercession.

Decrees recognizing miracles were promulgated for the world-famous religious and six others, in a ceremony at the Apostolic Palace in the presence of John Paul II.

Another seven decrees of recognition of a second miracle were also promulgated, opening the way for seven others to be canonized as saints.

And the heroic virtues of three others were also recognized, bringing them closer to the Church’s recognition of the holiness of their lives.

The decrees referred to nine women and eight men: two bishops, a diocesan priest, four religious priests, eight women religious and two laymen. Thirteen of them are founders of institutes of consecrated life.

Future blessed

Mother Teresa (1910-1997) was a worldwide emblem of Christian charity, the prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Sainthood Causes, Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, explained before the Pope, cardinals, bishops, religious and laity present.

Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, in Macedonia, Mother Teresa discovered the face of the suffering Christ in Calcutta among the poorest of the poor. The founder of the Missionaries of Charity will be beatified next year.

Also scheduled for beatification is the founder of the Pauline religious family and great apostle of the media, Italian Father Giacomo Alberione (1884-1971).

During his visit to Croatia next year, the Pope will beatify two Croats: Mother Maria of Jesus Crucified Petkovic (1892-1966) and layman Ivan Merz (1986-1928).

Mother Maria founded the Congregation of the Daughters of Mercy for the education of young girls and for care of poor and sick children.

Merz, a distinguished philosopher and promoter of Catholic Action in Croatia, was dedicated to the Christian formation of youth through a liturgical life, eucharistic devotion and Catholic culture.

The list also includes Belgian Valentine Paquay (1828-1905), professed priest of the Order of Friars Minor. He radiated his apostolic fervor in his preaching, in the confessional, and in the spiritual direction of the Franciscan Third Order.

Mother Bonifacia Rodríguez Castro (1837-1905) is another future blessed. A native of Spain, she founded the congregation of the Servants of St. Joseph for the social and Christian development of women workers, whom she formed through work, imitation of the Holy Family of Nazareth, and prayer.

For her part, Italian religious Giulia Salzano (1846-1929) dedicated her youth to the education of children. In Casoria, she founded the Catechist Sisters of the Sacred Heart.

Future saints

With today’s decrees, the Church will also soon celebrate the canonization of seven blessed. Each of them has had a second miracle recognized, making their inclusion in the canon of saints possible.

Italian Blessed Daniele Comboni (1831-1881) is among the seven. Founder of the Comboni missionaries, the evangelization of Africa absorbed his life.

Polish Blessed Giuseppe Sebastiano Pelczar, Latin-rite bishop of Przemysl, founded the Congregation of Servants of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He was exemplary as pastor and teacher of life to priests, religious and lay people.

The list includes two great missionaries: Blessed Arnold Janssen (1837-1909), a native of Germany, and founder of the Society of the Divine Word, of the Missionaries Servants of the Holy Spirit, and of the Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration; and his spiritual son, Italian Giuseppe Freinademetz (1852-1908), professed priest of the Divine Word.

Also to be canonized are Italian religious Maria de Mattias (1805-1866); Spanish Religious Angela de Cruz Guerrero González (1846-1932), founder of the Sisters of the Company of the Cross, to care for the poorest; and Italian Virginia Centurione, widow of Bracelli (1587-1651), founder of the Sisters of Our Lady of Refuge on Mount Calvary. She entered the convent after being widowed and raising her children.

Heroic virtues

The Congregation for Sainthood Causes also promulgated the decrees of recognition of the heroic virtues of a priest and two women religious, in addition to those of Mother Teresa.

Italian priest Carlo Gnocchi (1902-1956) was described by Archbishop Giovanni Battista Montini — the future Pope Paul VI — as “a beautiful and pure figure of a priest, writer, military chaplain and founder of ‘Pro Juventute,” an institution for children who were mutilated in wartime.

German Religious Maria Teresa of St. Joseph Tauscher Van Den Bosch (1855-1938), born to a Lutheran family, converted to Catholicism at age 33. After reading the life of St. Teresa of Jesus, she was attracted to Carmelite spirituality, and eventually founded the Congregation of Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus.

Italian Religious Maria Crocifissa — Rosa Curcio — founder of the Congregation of Carmelite Missionary Sisters of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus combined her contemplative and apostolic dimensions, dedicating her life to the evangelization of families and the Christian education of youth.

“All these Servants of God carried out an intense apostolate, and with the testimony of their works and holiness, wrote important pages in the life of the Church of their time and their surroundings. They are regarded as authentic witnesses of Christ and masters of faithfulness to the Gospel,” Cardinal Saraiva Martins said in the Pope’s presence.

“Even after their death, they continue to build the Kingdom of God, upholding the faith and piety of their peoples through the legacy of their example and teaching and through their intercession,” he added.

“The magisterium of these men and women is alive and up-to-date. It proposes again the centrality of Christ in the life of the Church and of the Christian,” the cardinal Saraiva Martins concluded.

Share this Entry

ZENIT Staff

Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation