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Marianne Cope and ‘Lily of the Mohawks’ to be canonised

By on Tuesday, 20 December 2011

A statue of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha outside the Kateri Shrine in Fonda, New York (Photo: CNS)

A statue of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha outside the Kateri Shrine in Fonda, New York (Photo: CNS)

Pope Benedict XVI has advanced the sainthood Causes of Blessed Marianne Cope of Molokai and Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha.

He also formally recognised the martyrdom of 64 victims of the Spanish Civil War and advanced the Causes of 18 other men and women.

During a meeting on December 19 with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, the Pope signed the decrees recognising the miracles needed for the canonisations of Blessed Marianne and Blessed Kateri.

Before a date is set for the canonisation ceremonies, there must be an “ordinary public consistory”, a formal ceremony opened and closed with prayer, during which cardinals present in Rome express their support for the Pope’s decision to create new saints.

Blessed Marianne, who worked as a teacher and hospital administrator in New York, spent the last 30 years of her life ministering on the Hawaiian island of Molokai to those with leprosy. She died on the island in 1918 at age 80 and was beatified in St Peter’s Basilica in 2005.

Blessed Kateri, known as the Lily of the Mohawks, was born to a Christian Algonquin mother and a Mohawk father in 1656 in upstate New York along the Hudson River. She was baptised by a Jesuit missionary in 1676 when she was 20, and she died in Canada four years later. In June 1980, she became the first Native American to be beatified.

Pope Benedict also recognised miracles attributed to the intercession of five other people, who now can be declared saints. They are:

- Blessed Giovanni Battista Piamarta, an Italian priest who founded the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth for men and the Humble Servants of the Lord for women. He died in 1913.

- Blessed Jacques Berthieu, a French Jesuit priest who was martyred in Madagascar in 1896.

- Blessed Carmen Salles y Barangueras, the Spanish founder of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. She worked with disadvantaged girls and prostitutes and saw that early education was essential for helping young women. She died in 1911.

- Blessed Peter Calungsod, a lay Catholic from Cebu, Philippines, who accompanied Jesuit missionaries to Guam as a catechist and was martyred there in 1672 while he was in his late teens.

- Blessed Anna Schaffer, a lay German woman who wanted to be a missionary, but couldn’t do so after a succession of physical accidents and disease. She accepted her infirmity as a way of sanctification. Her grave has been a pilgrimage site since her death in 1925.

Pope Benedict also signed decrees that pave the way for numerous beatifications:

- He recognised the martyrdom of 64 priests, religious and a layman, Jose Gorostazu Labayen, who were martyred between 1936 and 1937 during the Spanish Civil War.

- He recognized the martyrdom of Fr Nicolaus Rusca, a Swiss priest who was tortured and killed after being condemned by a Protestant court in 1618.

- He formally recognised the miracle needed for the beatification of Fr Louis Brisson, the French founder of the Oblates of St Francis de Sales.

- He formally recognised the miracle needed for the beatification of Italian Fr Luigi Novarese, an official at the Vatican Secretariat of State and founder of the Silent Workers of the Cross Association.

- He formally recognised the miracle needed for the beatification of Mother Maria Mole, the French founder of the Sisters of Charity of St Louis.

- He formally recognised the miracles needed for the beatifications of two nuns, one from Argentina and one from Italy.

The Pope approved seven other decrees recognising that the men and women lived the Christian virtues in a heroic way and that they are venerable. Recognition of a miracle attributed to each candidate’s intercession is needed for that person’s beatification.

  • Dr PJ McFall

    More and more people will fall away from the Church if they continue with the idea of canonisation; that a person is made a saint, just like the Roman Emperor’s Augustus and Claudius were proclaimed Gods. The whole idea was a clever mercenary racket, to inveigle people to part with their money in honour of the Gods. To refuse to donate could mean being accused of disrespect to the Gods and could death. The same tenet (without principle) applies to the making of saints in terms of all the religious relics, prayer trappings and other paraphernalia like statues (for sale). Sainthood is the same as the Roman God concept, and is a multi million dollar business. The idea of people like Jesus and Mary (ascended into heaven body and soul), The Holy Ghost, Angels and Saints flying around in the sky is no longer credible to any rational being. Canonisation has been overtaken by modern sciences [Carbon-14 dating, CERN (The Large Hadron Collider), DNA technology, Microtechnology micrometres (one millionth of a metre, or 10-6 metre, or 1μm)] and are exposing Catholic Church’s archaic doctrine and the many anachronistic theatrical ceremonial practices as flummery . If the church wants to attract people back again, it’s Cardinals, Bishops, priests and laity must adhere to the tenets of Matthew 19:22. Nothing less than perfection will do. (read the text).

  • Nat_ons

    Listing a soul in liturgy as a recognised hero of faith, a Saint, is not ‘to be made a saint’; that sanctity is offered in Sacrament at Baptism into Christ, is wrought as salvation worked out in fear and trembling, and is lived by grace through faith according to the life God has prepared for us in Christ .. thus worthiness in witness to Christ is what we have set before us as an affirmed recollection – even if all one perceives in one’s adult materialistic sarcasm is the idea of people flying around in the sky: much as though stuck on a nursery wall.

    Miracles happen, nonetheless, even in the most materialistic of world views and those least appreciative of faith as a living experience; this is witnessed not least in Matthew 19. That you demand perfection – in a mechanical way – seems to show only a lack of understanding of how we may be holy as our Father is. Only God is perfect in that sense, for all our perfections can only mirror his (dimly) – and that is miracle enough to be praised .. in faith if not mechanics; the perfection praised in saints is ‘witness’.

    The flummery and theatrical ceremony of modern empirical science – using technical jargon to puff up simple ideas, even if their simplicity is complex to the average mind – are part of  human science’s ancient way of describing its terms of reference and not aside from it .. but such mystery, symbol, and rite (liked or loathed) are of the essence to faith: being lived, recalled and celebrated in liturgy with symbol as in life’s realities.

    “Large crowds followed him, and he cured them there.” Matt 19:2.

  • Dr PJ McFall

    This is another case of “The Singer not the Song”. You sound genuine and sincere in your faith, but the song is worthless. If you randomly select 20 sixth form classes and explain your message (paraphrased as you wish), they too will find the message worthless. I do not gamble, but I would lay a generous bet on my proposition.

  • T. Rasberry

    The perfection being spoken of in the verse you referenced is perfection in CHARITY which, may I say, your cold comments seem to be lacking in.  Nor do you seem to be interested (genuinely or sincerely) in whether the Church retains or loses souls. 

    So, I wonder what your real purpose is in even bothering with such comments.  I can’t fathom.  If you don’t like the “flummery” of the Church, fair enough! And if you think its continuation will only lead to apostasy, then how does this displease you?  Why bother to “advise” the Church at all? 

    If I despised something in an organization and I saw them continuing to do said thing and I felt that the very same continuance of said thing would bring about the demise of either the practice or organization itself,  I wouldn’t say a word. That would be illogical.  So why do you?  Somewhere there’s a flaw to your reasonings.  Just like there’s a flaw to the notion that science (something I deeply believe in) has overtaken canonization OR exposed Church doctrine or “theatrics” as you put it.  In virtue of proper “methods”, let’s have examples and proof please of which doctrines, practices or “theatrics” have been disproved. 

  • Armando Borja

    You can never find any Christian in the Bible invoked anyone in heaven who is not God. There is no any clear biblical basis of Christians on earth praying to saints in heaven. There is also no clear evidence from the Bible that saints in heaven can hear their devotees when they pray to them. The clear teaching of the Bible is this: 
    For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5). Jesus said when you pray say “Our Father” not our Mother. When you are weary and heavy laden to whom Jesus said you should come? He said “come unto me (Matthew 11:28).” There is no clear evidence that the miracle attributed to the intercession of Calungsod or any saint, is really because of that intercession.

  • Anonymous

    Wonderful news ! Especially about Kateri Tekakwitha & Marianne Cope.

  • Anonymous

    Canonisation is the Church’s recognition on earth of what is already a fact in Heaven. The Roman & Greek practice of deification is different in kind from canonisation, becauise the holiness of the Saints, like all holiness in all creatures, is derived, totally, always, in all respects, from that of Christ Himself; in fact, it *is* the Infinite Divine Holiness of Christ, as manifested in a human creature. To recognise the holiness of His Saints, is to recognise that He is Holy in them. This is why the Saints are so greatly loved – for attaction to them, is really Christ’s attraction of Christians, to Himself, through those members of His Church. How does that apply to the deification of ancient kings & emperors ? Were they deified because of the strength in them of the Life and Grace of Christ ? One might as well say that the Israelites must have been Scotsmen – why else would they be divided into clans, & mention what is obviously Nessie AKA Leviathan in the Book of Job, and live as shepherds and farmers ? Similarity =////= relation; let alone identity.
     
    Canonisation has nothing to with the sciences – how can a degree in physics (say)  help anyone to know whether a given individual is in the friendship of God ?  The idea that biology or genetics (say) can tell us anything about the grace of God or the efficacy of the Sacraments or the Life of the Blessed Trinity is simply silly.

    “The idea of people like Jesus and Mary (ascended into heaven body and
    soul), The Holy Ghost, Angels and Saints flying around in the sky is no
    longer credible to any rational being.”

    ## Of course that is silly when it is caricatured like that. The second sentence is incredible, & is rubbish; it always was. Why should the Ascension Of Christ & the Assumption of His all-holy Mother be incredible ? It has nothing to do with geography or physics or any of those sciences – the physical sciences are not equipped or competent to pronounce on these super-natural realities.  The real difficulty is to see how Christ the Conqueror of death, hell & the devil could be prevented from rising from death; & if he is raised from the dead, to deny the Ascension makes no sense. The One Who overcame death is not limited or inhibited by the universe He is the Inventor & Creator of. Where He goes, He can take His mother also. As for “flying” – angels don’t. Since the Holy Ghost is God & has not taken a human nature, He is not related to space – space is related to Him. It is God Who is Real, space and time that are temporary. You’re looking at these things back to front.

  • Anonymous

    Catholics who know the teaching of the Church never pray to saints; rather, they ask the saints in Heaven to pray for them just as any Christian would ask a believer (i.e. a saint) for prayer. Christians do not believe that death separates us; for those who believe in Christ, life is changed not ended in the experience of earthly death. Christ’s own death and resurrection means that we are all united in Him – those on Earth and those in Heaven. Therefore, there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking someone for prayer.

    You say that there is one intercessor – Christ – and that is what Catholicism teaches. However, asking another believer (i.e. a saint) for prayer does not diminish the unique role of Christ; if it did, then Scripture (James 5:16) would not exhort us to “pray for one another” and Paul who offered prayer (i.e. intercession) on many occasions would never have done so had he believed it took away from Christ’s role. I’m sure you’ve prayed (i.e. interceded) for people.

    All Catholics are doing is asking for prayer. It is a  practice rooted in Scripture.  God bless.

  • Anonymous

    Your final Biblical reference sounds as if you a protestant of some sort. I apologise if I am wrong.

    Now Saints, and praying to the dead, and other such non-protestant issues are dealt with in the Apocrypha which protestants do not acknowledge. The one thing that protestants do understand is the 400 years silence in which God did not speak from the end of Malachi to the beginning of the New Testament. However, although protestants say that God did not speak I have to tell you that as far as Catholics are concerned he did speak. He spoke in the Words of the Apocrypha (though some of the Apocrypha pre-dates this period).

    Certainly, during these 400 years, God was at work. The prophecy of
    Daniel in Daniel 11 is largely about this time. The rise of the
    Maccabees and the miracle
    of the lights are testaments to God’s presence, praying for the Dead through intercession, as were the rise of the
    Pharisees and the presence of godly people. Luke opens with righteous
    people who lived
    during this time, Zechariah and his wife (Luke 1:6). 

    I find that protestant and Evangelical Pastors are extremely adept at glossing over this fact which then leaves their congregations with an incomplete version of Biblical History.

  • Fr. Al

    In the Cathoioc understanding, only God is worshipped.  Mary and the saints may be ‘venerated,’ that is, honored for their lives on earth.  As they are presumed to be in the presence of God and that they ‘have God’s ear, ‘their intercession may be sought.  Let’s let go of theoligical nit-picking and recognize the sheer holiness thatG od has allowed to be exhibited in the Saints!

  • maryp

    Poppycock!

  • Dr P J McFall

    Clearly you have a limited vocabulary or else you are being intemperate, either way it does not behove the image or the progress to the Catholic Church for you to be curt and insolent in response to such an important tenet of the message of Jesus Christ. It would have helped if you had replied with: “This is poppycock because, and then give a considered cogent reply. It is very difficult to understand that any Catholic would want to dismiss: [Matthew 19:21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”] as poppycock. I still purport that the Catholic Church would be more appealing and more significant to the pristine message of Jesus if there were more clerics like “The Curé of Ars” and less like the infamous Cardinal Richelieu. Sadly, in today’s Catholic Church it would seem that there are more of the latter and less of the former. In this day and age it is still possible to buy papal knighthoods and other honours for large amounts of money. Does the message of Matthew 21:12: “And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the chairs of them that sold doves” (Douay-Rheims Bible) mean nothing?Finally, considering that the term ‘poppycock’ is generally used by the unsophisticated and uneducated to denote, empty talk or writing that they do not comprehend and in their view is without substance. I would like you to elucidate and perhaps educate me in my erroneous deliberations, so that I cane be a better person.

  • Dave Corrigan

    A NEW CRUSADE Much as I love theology and catholic teaching the time has come for pragmatic action rather than theoretical deliberations that few Catholics really understand.It is the illiteracy and ignorance within the Church that is doing more harm than any outside threat. Is it not stupid that Orthodox and Roman Catholics quarrel with each other over the simple use of words; Catholics and Protestants argue over the simple matter of Papal authority whilst fundamental Muslims bomb, burn and slaughter Christians. Fundamental Muslims are rapidly proliferating throughout Africa and Europe and Christians just turn the other cheek. At my confirmation over sixty years ago, I vowed to be a soldier of Christ and defend the Catholic faith.But now the teaching is Dignitatis Humanae (Paragraph 2) “The Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. Freedom of this kind means that all men and women should be immune from coercion and thatnobody is forced to act against his or her convictions in religious matters. The Council declares that the right to religious freedom is based on the very dignity of the human person”. Paragraph 2 seems to mean that Muslims have equal rights to express their religion in any way that they see fit to do, (bomb, burn and slaughter). It would seem that according to Dignitatis Humanae there is no difference between Christians and Muslims (I know that this is not true, but it can be interpreted in this way). Do we just sit on our comfortable armchairs, fingering our rosary beads and wait for annihilation? Is the church worth defending?  I say, yes it is !!!

  • Lindi

    The Communion of Saints is all about love. That is what connects us to the saints. God wishes us to share the love He has for those who are in His Divine Presence. It is we who set a limit on that love.

  • Sszorin

    .
    Wonderful news …especially about father Nicholaus Rusca. 

  • Guest

    ” In this day and age it is still possible to buy papal knighthoods and other honours for large amounts of money.”
    Exactly. Google ‘Blair’s priest’ and get info on the dealings of Fr. Seed who actually tried to collect money from an arms dealer for a knighthood. Also, every member of the pre-Constantine church was a saint by definition. The new definition leading to upper-case Saints was hierarchical; like Orwell’s ‘all are equal, but some are more equal than others’. It makes a nonsense of the brotherhood which epitomized the early church before Constantine set in train the burgeoning corruptions of the next 13 centuries, and more.

  • Realist

    Henry VIII left thousands (millions by today’s standards) to have masses said for his soul.

  • Armando Borja

    When the apostle Paul said “One Mediator” (1 Timothy 2:5) it means that there are no other mediators like Jesus Christ and this include any mediator that shares or perceived to share any of the attributes that belong to Christ alone. Since Christ is God he is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. These attributes are not shared with anyone who is not God. The Roman Catholic Church (RCC) may say that they do not claim that the saints have those divine attributes. But that is not what the RCC says, in effect,  when they encourage people on earth to pray to saints in heaven. It is very possible that there may be two, three, or even ten million people scattered all over the world praying to a saint at the same time, in many different languages, and asking for a great variety of things. In order for that saint to hear and answer all those prayers, he or she should be omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. How in the world can a saint possibly hear and understand the petitions of each one of the millions of his or her devotees all over the world if he or she is not omnipotent and omniscient? The RCC will agree that saints in heaven did not become God or gods that are subordinate to the one God, when they got to heaven. They remain human beings and there is nothing in the Bible that says saints in heaven were given powers and abilities that enable them to specifically hear and understand each one of the prayers of their devotees on earth. Fundamental Christians do not have problem with the idea that Christians here on earth or in heaven are praying for us. Doing that does not require nor show supernatural abilities. They also do not have problem with asking someone — who is with us here on earth and can hear us — to pray for us. The problem is when you, who are here on earth, pray to someone who is in the third heaven and is not God, believing that he has the power to hear you. To do that is to assume that that someone in heaven has the power that belongs to the one Mediator which is Jesus Christ. Saying that  believers here on earth pray for one another and saints in heaven pray for everyone on earth  does not establish that the RCC’s practice of praying to the saints in heaven is right and biblical. You can never find any Christian in the Bible invoke anyone in heaven who is not God. Seghers did not present any clear biblical basis that Christians on earth prayed to saints in heaven nor he presented any clear evidence from the Bible that saints in heaven can hear the devotees when they pray to them. Praying to saints in heaven is just a later development hundreds of years after the apostolic era. One of the teachings that blur the uniqueness of Christ’s mediatorship the most is the RCCs view of Mary. The RCC esteems Mary above all saints and angels. Some Catholics accuse fundamental Christians of disrespecting Mary because they are against the way the RCC treats her. Fundamental Christians consider Mary blessed. Mary is a shining example of how we, as believers, should live. However, we must not extol Mary beyond her role as a believer. The way the RCC treats Mary elevates her to the position like that of the Lord Jesus Christ. One of the most popular Roman Catholic prayers in honor of Mary is “Hail Holy Queen,” attributed to Alphonsus Liguori, a famous Roman Catholic bishop who has been canonized as a saint. The prayer begins: Hail, Holy Queen,Mother of MercyHail, our life, our sweetness, our hope.Turn, then, most gracious advocate However, the Bible says: God alone is holy; Jesus alone reigns (Revelation 15:4; 17:14; 19:18); Jesus alone is our life; Jesus alone is our hope (John 11:25; 14:6; Colosians 1:27); Jesus alone is our advocate (1 John 2:2; 1Timothy 2:5). The RCC gave Mary the titles that seem to put her on the same level with Jesus Christ: Jesus’ titles are: King of kings; one in whom there was no sin; Mediator; Redeemer; the hope of glory; the life; our Advocate. Mary’s titles given by the RCC are: Queen of heaven; one immaculately conceived; Mediatrix of all grace; Co-redemtrix; our hope; our life; our Advocate. Many former Roman Catholics testify that they had greater love and devotion for Mary than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. In conclusion, when Christians here on earth pray for one another and saints in heaven pray for those who are on earth, they do not become mediators like Jesus Christ. But when we, here on earth, call upon and pray to someone – who is not God – in heaven, believing that he or she has supernatural power to hear and help us, we are placing on him or her a kind of faith

  • Armando Borja

    When the apostle Paul said “One Mediator” (1 Timothy 2:5) it means that there are no other mediators like Jesus Christ and this include any mediator that shares or perceived to share any of the attributes that belong to Christ alone. Since Christ is God he is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. These attributes are not shared with anyone who is not God. The Roman Catholic Church (RCC) may say that they do not claim that the saints have those divine attributes. But that is not what the RCC says, in effect,  when they encourage people on earth to pray to saints in heaven. It is very possible that there may be two, three, or even ten million people scattered all over the world praying to a saint at the same time, in many different languages, and asking for a great variety of things. In order for that saint to hear and answer all those prayers, he or she should be omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. How in the world can a saint possibly hear and understand the petitions of each one of the millions of his or her devotees all over the world if he or she is not omnipotent and omniscient? The RCC will agree that saints in heaven did not become God or gods that are subordinate to the one God, when they got to heaven. They remain human beings and there is nothing in the Bible that says saints in heaven were given powers and abilities that enable them to specifically hear and understand each one of the prayers of their devotees on earth. Fundamental Christians do not have problem with the idea that Christians here on earth or in heaven are praying for us. Doing that does not require nor show supernatural abilities. They also do not have problem with asking someone — who is with us here on earth and can hear us — to pray for us. The problem is when you, who are here on earth, pray to someone who is in the third heaven and is not God, believing that he has the power to hear you. To do that is to assume that that someone in heaven has the power that belongs to the one Mediator which is Jesus Christ. Saying that  believers here on earth pray for one another and saints in heaven pray for everyone on earth  does not establish that the RCC’s practice of praying to the saints in heaven is right and biblical. You can never find any Christian in the Bible invoke anyone in heaven who is not God. Seghers did not present any clear biblical basis that Christians on earth prayed to saints in heaven nor he presented any clear evidence from the Bible that saints in heaven can hear the devotees when they pray to them. Praying to saints in heaven is just a later development hundreds of years after the apostolic era. One of the teachings that blur the uniqueness of Christ’s mediatorship the most is the RCCs view of Mary. The RCC esteems Mary above all saints and angels. Some Catholics accuse fundamental Christians of disrespecting Mary because they are against the way the RCC treats her. Fundamental Christians consider Mary blessed. Mary is a shining example of how we, as believers, should live. However, we must not extol Mary beyond her role as a believer. The way the RCC treats Mary elevates her to the position like that of the Lord Jesus Christ. One of the most popular Roman Catholic prayers in honor of Mary is “Hail Holy Queen,” attributed to Alphonsus Liguori, a famous Roman Catholic bishop who has been canonized as a saint. The prayer begins: Hail, Holy Queen,Mother of MercyHail, our life, our sweetness, our hope.Turn, then, most gracious advocate However, the Bible says: God alone is holy; Jesus alone reigns (Revelation 15:4; 17:14; 19:18); Jesus alone is our life; Jesus alone is our hope (John 11:25; 14:6; Colosians 1:27); Jesus alone is our advocate (1 John 2:2; 1Timothy 2:5). The RCC gave Mary the titles that seem to put her on the same level with Jesus Christ: Jesus’ titles are: King of kings; one in whom there was no sin; Mediator; Redeemer; the hope of glory; the life; our Advocate. Mary’s titles given by the RCC are: Queen of heaven; one immaculately conceived; Mediatrix of all grace; Co-redemtrix; our hope; our life; our Advocate. Many former Roman Catholics testify that they had greater love and devotion for Mary than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. In conclusion, when Christians here on earth pray for one another and saints in heaven pray for those who are on earth, they do not become mediators like Jesus Christ. But when we, here on earth, call upon and pray to someone – who is not God – in heaven, believing that he or she has supernatural power to hear and help us, we are placing on him or her a kind of faith