The date is set: ‘Apostle of the Catechism’ to be declared a saint of the Catholic Church

Courtney MaresAC Wimmer   By Courtney MaresAC Wimmer for CNA


Blessed Giovanni Battista Scalabrini / Dicastery for the Causes of Saints via ACI Prensa

Rome Newsroom, Aug 27, 2022 / 08:34 am (CNA).

A renowned Italian priest and bishop dedicated to evangelization and teaching the Catechism will be declared a saint of the Catholic Church on Oct. 9.

At the consistory on Saturday, Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, announced that the pope set Oct. 9 as the date for the canonization of Blessed Giovanni Battista Scalabrini together with Blessed Artemide Zatti.

Pope Francis previously approved the canonizations in a degree promulgated on May 21, 2022, with a dispensation from the requirement for a second miracle in the case of Scalabrini.

A native of the Italian region of Lombardy, Scalabrini (1839-1905) was ordained a priest in 1863 and made bishop of Piacenza in 1876.

As bishop, he founded the Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo (also known as the Scalabrinians). He also created the “Saint Raphael Association”, which, like the order he founded, was dedicated to offering pastoral care to migrants leaving Italy at the turn of the 20th century.

Scalabrini was convinced of the need for institutions to accompany the journey of migrants in all its stages, taking care not to abruptly sever cultural ties with the homeland, maintaining the mother tongue as a bond of unity with the other compatriots.

According to a report by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language partner agency, he also believed that migration could lead to an imbalance between the countries of origin and destination.

Scalabrini is also remembered for founding a diocesan newspaper, for caring for the poor and elderly, for being a promoter of Eucharistic adoration and a protector of correct liturgical chant.

In 1901, he visited his missionaries in the United States and was received at the White House by President Theodore Roosevelt.

Pope Pius IX once described Scalabrini as “the apostle of the Catechism.”

Speaking to members of the Congregation founded by Scalabrini in October 2018, Pope Francis called on the religious to walk with migrants, following the charism of their founder, by paying attention to the “dignity of the human person, especially where it is most wounded and threatened.”

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