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Saints in the News, February 2021

News from England, the Vatican, Prague, Peoria, and Spain.

Detail from "Christ Glorified in the Court of Heaven" (1428-30) by Fra Angelico. (WikiArt.org)

VATICAN CITY STATE – On Jan. 21, Pope Francis received in audience Marcero Cardinal Semararo, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. His Holiness authorized the Congregation to promulgate decrees for a priest martyred by the Nazis, a prominent pro-life physician and an English religious order pioneer.

The martyred priest is the Servant of God Giovanni Fornasini, whom the Nazis killed in hatred of the faith at San Martino di Caprara, Italy, on Oct. 13, 1944;

Perhaps the two most recognizable persons given decrees of heroic virtue were the Servant of God Mary Josephine of Jesus (née Elizabeth) Prout (†1864) and the Servant of God Jérôme Lejeune (†1994).

Lejeune was the geneticist who first scientifically explained the cause of Down’s Syndrome.

Prout founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross and of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the first Passionist religious order in England. She was a close collaborator with Bl. Dominic Barberi and the Servant of God Ignatius Spencer, the two men who did the most to establish the Passionists in England. She lived in the period directly following the 1829 Catholic Emancipation in England and was a convert from Anglicanism. She worked closely with the poor in the Midlands section of England during the height of the Industrial Revolution.

The Holy Father also recognized the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Fr. Michele Arcangelo Maria Antonio Vinti, diocesan priest; the Servant of God Ruggero Maria Caputo, a diocesan priest; the Servant of God Santiago Masarnau Fernández, a layman; the Servant of God Pasquale Canzii, a seminarian; the Servant of God Adele Bonolis, a laywoman.

All will now be styled, “Venerable.”

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VATICAN CITY STATE – Pope Francis has named a new Secretary for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

According to Vatican News, “Bishop Fabio Fabene, the titular bishop of Montefiascone, had served since 8 February 2014 as the Under-Secretary of the Synod of Bishops.”

Born in 1959, he received ordination in 1984. After working as a parish priest and canon law professor, Fabene came to work at the Vatican in 1998, where he has served ever since, mostly in the Congregation for Bishops.

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PRAGUE – On Jan. 4, the diocesan phase of the Servant of God Adolf Kajpr, SJ’s cause was completed. The martyred priest’s beatification cause opened in 2017.

Kajpr was a Czech Jesuit whom the Nazis imprisoned in 1941 at the Dachau concentration camp for publishing magazines that were critical of the German occupiers. In 1950, five years after getting out of Dachau, Czechoslovakian communists arrested him for writing counterrevolutionary and “seditious” articles and sent him to the gulag for a 12 year sentence, where he died in 1959.

The priest journalist entered the Jesuits in 1928 and received holy orders in 1935. He spent 13 of his 24 years as a priest in some sort of confinement. While imprisoned, he ministered to his fellow inmates, which, according to the Catholic News Agency, included “educating prisoners about philosophy and literature.”

“Kajpr died in a prison hospital on Sept. 17, 1959, after suffering from two heart attacks. A witness said that at the moment he died he had been laughing at a joke,” CNA reported.

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PEORIA, Ill. – City leaders and the Diocese of Peoria have come together to rename a portion of the town’s Madison Avenue in front of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in honor of Ven. Fulton J. Sheen.

These were the streets where he grew up,” said Monsignor Stanley Deptula, Executive Director of the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation and Director of the Sheen Canonization Cause, according to Peoria Public Radio. “As a young priest, he walked the streets of the south side of Peoria going door to door, walking around, bringing the message of the gospel to the people of his neighborhood.

And then it is from these very streets that Fulton Sheen went on, to change the world – not just the Catholic world, but the world – with a message that ‘Life Is Worth Living,’” he concluded, alluding to the name of Sheen’s popular 1950s television program.

PPR noted that Sheen was born in El Paso, Ill., in 1895 and died in New York City in 1979. The Venerable’s body was transferred from New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral to a tomb in St. Mary’s Cathedral two years ago. If he is canonized, he would become the first U.S. native-born male to achieve sainthood. Jenky said he is praying that Sheen soon will be “raised in the altars of the church” and declared “blessed.”

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SANTANDER, Spain – The Spanish religious order Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother is hoping to proceed with the beatification cause of Sr. Clare Crockett and is asking for prayers for the success of this effort.

Sister was an actress, writer, and director from Derry, Northern Ireland, who wanted to be a movie actress. Then a Good Friday religious experience made her see that her vocation was to the religious life, something she discerned “with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other.”

Amongst other places, Sister served in Jacksonville, Fla. She died in Ecuador in April 2016, when the classroom in which she was teaching collapsed during an earthquake. She was 33.

You can find out more about the Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother on their website.


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About BK O'Neel 26 Articles
BK O’Neel writes from Pennsylvania.

2 Comments

  1. I am one Catholic who’s not waiting around for Bergoglio to declare whose life is saintly and whose life is not. Especially when Bergoglio is wont to call his fellow Catholics names like “coprophiliacs.”

    For my money, bishop Fulton J. Sheen is a saint and I now refer to him as Saint Fulton Sheen and pray for his intercession on my behalf. You see, I place faith in the Sensus Fidelium.

  2. I think of the priest, 13 years imprisoned and still faithful, and the Hong Kong Bishop who spent 14 years in solitary confinement. I think of the Vietnamese priest who was sent to a camp and yet offered Mass daily, whether they shot him or not. Thank you. Thank you for giving me, a Catholic child and adult, an example of true faith. In an era of woffle and nonsense since the hijack of Vatican II.

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