ROME, JUNE 28, 2012 (Zenit.org).- In a private audience today with prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato, Pope Benedict XVI approved the “heroic virtue” Fulton J. Sheen, thereby officially opening his cause for canonization.
The American archbishop and former bishop of Rochester New York lived from 1895-1979. He was best known his 20 years of evangelical work on radio and television. Before Archbishop Sheen’s cause can advance towards beatification, the Pope must approve at least one miracle attributed to his intercession.
Others honored in the same decree as servants of God include the first prelate of the Personal Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei, Alvaro del Portillo y Diez de Sollano (1914-1994), a Canadian widow and founder of the Handmaidens of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Marie of the Sacred Heart (1806-1885), and American founder of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm, Mary Angeline Teresa (1893-1984). There were also a number of martyrs on the list, including 154 martyrs of the Spanish civil war.
The Holy Father authorized the promulgation of the following decrees:
- Servant of God Luca Passi, Italian diocesan priest and founder of the Congregation of the Teaching Sisters of St. Dorothy (1789-1866).
- Servant of God Francesca de Paula de Jesus, known as Nha Chica, Brazilian laywoman (1808-1895).
- Servants of God Manuel Borras Ferre, auxiliary bishop of Tarragona, Spain, Agapito Modesto (ne Modesto Pamplona Falguera) of the Institute of Brothers of Christian Schools, and 145 companions, killed in hatred of the faith in Spain between 1936 and 1939.
- Servant of God Giuseppe Puglisi, Italian diocesan priest (1937-1993), killed in hatred of the faith in Palermo, Italy in 1993.
- Servants of God Ermenegildo of the Assumption (born Ermenegildo Iza y Aregita) and five companions of the Order of the Blessed Trinity, killed in hatred of the faith in Spain in 1936.
- Servant of God Victoria de Jesus (born Francesca Valverde Gonzalez), Spanish religious of the "Instituto Calasancio de Hijas de la Divina Pastora" (1888-1937), killed in hatred of the faith in Spain in 1937.
- Servant of God Devasahayam (Lazarus) Pillai, Indian layman (1712-1752), killed in hatred of the faith in India in 1752.
- Servant of God Sisto Riario Sforza, Italian archbishop of Naples and cardinal of Holy Roman Church (1810-1877).
- Servant of God Fulton Sheen, American archbishop, and former bishop of Rochester (1895-1979).
- Servant of God Alvaro del Portillo y Diez de Sollano, Spanish prelate of the Personal Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei (1914-1994).
- Servant of God Ludwig Tijssen, Dutch diocesan priest (1865-1929).
- Servant of God Cristobal of St. Catherine (born Cristobal Fernando Valladolid), Spanish priest and founder of the Congregation and the Hospital of Jesus of Nazareth in Cordoba (1638-1690).
- Servant of God Marie of the Sacred Heart (born Marie Josephte Fitzbach), Canadian widow and founder of the Handmaidens of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, known as the Good Shepherd Sisters of Quebec (1806-1885).
- Servant of God Mary Angeline Teresa (born Bridget Teresa McCrory), founder of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm (1893-1984).
- Servant of God Maria Margit (born Adelaide Bogner), Hungarian professed nun of the Order of the Visitation (1905-1933).
- Servant of God Ferdinanda Riva, Italian professed sister of the Institute of Daughters of Charity (1920-1956).