Pope Francis paves the way for the canonization of new saints with zeal for mission work

Pope Francis paves the way for the canonization of new saints with zeal for mission work

Elena Guerra, Marie-Léonie Paradis, and Giuseppe Allamano are among the Blesseds whom Pope Francis paved the way for canonization in a decree on May 23, 2024.  / Credit: Oblates of the Holy Spirit;; and Unknown photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Rome Newsroom, May 24, 2024 / 09:41 am (CNA).

Pope Francis has authorized the promulgation of a decree recognizing miracles attributed to several blesseds, paving the way for their canonization, the Vatican said on Thursday.

The Holy See said in a press release that Pope Francis met with Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, on Thursday and “has decided to convene a consistory, which will also concern the canonization” of four Blesseds: Carlo Actuis (the first millennial to be beatified by the Catholic Church), Giuseppe Allamano (an Italian priest and founder of the Consolata Missionaries), Marie-Léonie Paradis (a Canadian Catholic nun who established the Little Sisters of the Holy Family in 1880), and Elena Guerra (the founder of the Oblates of the Holy Spirit).

Blessed Giuseppe Allamano, born Jan. 21, 1851, in Castelnuovo Don Bosco, formerly Castelnuovo d’Asti, in the region of Piedmont, founded two religious congregations: the Consolata Missionaries (for men) and the Consolata Missionary Sisters (for women).

Allamano was deeply influenced by the spirituality of the Salesians and St. John Bosco, commonly known as “Don Bosco,” and as well as his uncle, St. Joseph Cafasso, a noted priest and spiritual director who was known as one of Turin’s “social saints.”

After his ordination to the priesthood in 1873, Allamano dedicated himself to pastoral work and was appointed rector, at the age of 29, of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Consolation in Turin, a position he held for 46 years.

In 1901, Allamano founded the Consolata Missionaries, focusing on evangelization and serving the poor in mission territories. In 1910, at the request of Pope Pius X, he also established a female branch, the Consolata Missionary Sisters.

Both congregations continue his mission, working in various countries around the world, with a large presence in South America and Africa. Allamano died in Turin on Feb. 16, 1926.

Allamano was beatified by Pope John Paul II on Oct. 7, 1990, and on Sept. 13, 2023, the Vatican deemed one of his attributed miracles to be “a true miracle.”

In the Thursday announcement, Pope Francis also approved a second miracle attributed to Elodia Virginia Paradis, a French-Canadian nun and founder of the Little Sisters of the Holy Family.

Born on May 12, 1840, in Acadia in the French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec, she was aided in her discernment to religious life by Father Camillo Lefebvre, who encouraged her to enter the nascent congregation of the Marianites of Holy Cross, a branch of the Holy Cross Congregation.

Paradis entered as a postulant among these nuns in 1854 and on Feb. 19, 1855, at the age of 17, she became a novice taking the name of Sister Marie-Léonie. She made her religious profession on Aug. 22, 1857.

Recognized for her “excellent teaching skills,” Paradis served in various houses in Canada. She was sent to the United States in 1862, where she was made governess of the St. Vincent’s Orphanage in New York.

After her return to Canada in 1874, Paradis, at the behest of the archbishop of Montreal, founded on May 31, 1880, the Little Sisters of the Holy Family, a congregation of religious sisters aimed at carrying out work in religious communities, colleges, and seminaries. She was diagnosed with malignant cancer and died on May 3, 1912.

Paradis was declared a Servant of God by Pope Paul VI on June 13, 1966, and was beatified by Pope John Paul II on Sept. 11, 1984, in Montreal during his apostolic trip to Canada.

The Holy See press release on Thursday also noted that the pope “approved the favorable votes of the ordinary session of the cardinal fathers and bishops” for the canonization of Blessed Manuel Ruiz and seven companions of the Order of Friars Minor.

The session also voted in favor of the canonization of three brothers: Francis, Abdel Mohti, and Raphaël Massabki.

Part of the group of the “Martyrs of Damascus,” the Massabki brothers were three lay Maronites who were killed “in hatred of the faith” along with eight friars minor in Damascus, Syria, between July 9-10, 1860, during a flurry of sectarian violence.

Among the other future saints is Blessed Elena Guerra. Born in Lucca, Italy, on June 23, 1835, to a devout family, her life was dedicated to charitable works and in promoting education for young women.

In 1872, she founded the Oblate Sisters of the Holy Spirit, a congregation devoted to education, pastoral work, and the promotion of devotion to the Holy Spirit, where Guerra formed hundreds of young people, including St. Gemma Galgani.

A prolific writer, Guerra penned numerous works on social problems facing women as well as on the importance of education within the framework of Christian culture.

At the heart of her mission was a special devotion to the Holy Spirit. She was a strong advocate for a renewed focus on the Spirit’s role in the life of the Church. In 1865 she wrote “Pious Union of Prayers to the Holy Spirit,“ and in 1889 she had a novena titled “New Cenacle“ printed to help the faithful in developing a devotion to the Holy Spirit.

Pope Leo XIII issued a brief on May 5, 1895, urging “the bishops of the world to make this novena for the return of dissidents to the true Church.” The pope, in his 1897 encyclical Divinum Illud Munus inspired by her works, “explicitly recommended devotion to the Holy Spirit to the faithful.“

Guerra died on April 11, 1914, and was beatified by Pope John XXIII on April 26, 1959.

The Dicastery for the Causes of Saints also issued decrees recognizing a miracle attributed to Venerable Servant of God Giovanni Merlini, an Italian priest and missionary and a member of the Congregation of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood.

Thursday’s press release also announced the recognition of the martyrdoms of Servants of God Maria Maddalena Bódi, a laywoman killed in Hungary in 1945, and Stanislao Kostka Streich, a Polish diocesan who was murdered while celebrating Mass in 1938.

Pope Francis has also recognized “heroic virtues” of Servant of God Guglielmo Gattiani, Ismaele Molinero Novillo, and Enrico Medi, an Italian politician and physicist.

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