Daily Archives:February 7th, 2018

Vatican congregation approves miracle, opening door to Paul VI’s canonisation

Pope Paul VI is seen in an undated official portrait.  The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has approved on 6 Feb 2018 the second miracle needed for his canonisation.

VATICAN CITY – On Tuesday the Congregation for the Causes of Saints approved the second miracle needed for the canonization of Blessed Pope Paul VI, allowing his canonisation to take place, possibly later this year.

According to Vatican Insider, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints approved the miracle by a unanimous vote on 6 Feb 2018. The next step is for Pope Francis to also give his approval, with an official decree from the Vatican. Then the date for the canonisation can be set.

The miracle attributed to the cause of Paul VI is the healing of an unborn child in the fifth month of pregnancy. The case was brought forward in 2014 for study.

The mother, originally from the province of Verona, Italy, had an illness that risked her own life and the life of her unborn child, and was advised to have an abortion.

A few days after the beatification of Paul VI on 19 Oct 2014, she went to pray to him at the Shrine of Holy Mary of Grace in the town of Brescia. The baby girl was later born in good health, and remains in good health today.

The healing was first ruled as medically inexplicable by the medical council of the congregation last year, while the congregation’s consulting theologians agreed that the healing occurred through the late pope’s intercession.

Tuesday’s meeting with cardinals was the final step before Cardinal Angelo Amato, head of the congregation, will take the miracle to Pope Francis, who has the final say in its approval.

After the Pope issues a decree approving it, the date of the canonisation will be announced during a consistory. According to Vatican Insider, the canonisation may take place in October of this year, during the Synod of Bishops on the youth.

The miracle for Paul VI’s canonisation echoes that of his beatification. That first miracle took place in the 1990s in California. A then-unborn child was found to have a serious health problem that posed a high risk of brain damage. Physicians advised that the child be aborted, but the mother entrusted her pregnancy to Paul VI.

The child was born without problems and is now a healthy adolescent. He is considered to be completely healed.

Pope Paul’s cause for canonisation was opened in 1993. In December 2012, Pope Benedict XVI recognised the “heroic virtue” of Paul VI, giving him the title “venerable.” He was beatified in Rome on 19 Oct 2014.

Paul VI was born Giovanni Montini in 1897 in the town of Concesio in the Lombardy region of Italy. He was ordained a priest at the age of 22. He served as Archbishop of Milan before his election as Pope in 1963. He died in 1978.

As pope, he oversaw much of the Second Vatican Council, which had been opened by Pope St John XXIII. He also promulgated a new Roman Missal in 1969.

Paul VI published the encyclical Humanae Vitae in 1968, which reaffirmed the Church’s teaching against contraception and reaffirmed the merits of priestly celibacy. – CNA/EWTN News

Pope’s message for Lent: beware of false prophets, cold hearts


Cover of Pope Francis’ Lenten Message

“Lent summons us, and enables us, to come back to the Lord wholeheartedly and in every aspect of our life,” writes Pope Francis in his Lenten Message for 2018.

The Pope’s annual message is a meditation on a verse from St Matthew’s Gospel (24:12): “Because of the increase in iniquity, the love of many will grow cold.” The message was released by the Vatican on 6 Feb 2018, in anticipation of the penitential season of Lent, which begins with Ash Wednesday on February 14.

In his message the Holy Father warns against false prophets, who lead people away from the love of God. “They can appear as snake charmers, who manipulate human emotions,” he writes. “They appeal to our vanity, our trust in appearances, but in the end they only make fools of us.”

Going on to discuss the danger of a love that grows cold, the Pope writes: “More than anything else, what destroys charity is greed for money, ‘the root of all evil.'” He sees environmental problems as a result of the pursuit of profit.

Creation itself becomes a silent witness to this cooling of charity. The earth is poisoned by refuse, discarded out of carelessness or for self-interest. The seas, themselves polluted, engulf the remains of countless shipwrecked victims of forced migration. The heavens, which in God’s plan, were created to sing His praises, are rent by engines raining down implements of death.

Pope Francis calls upon Catholics to pursue prayer, fasting, and almsgiving during the season of Lent, as a means of rekindling their charity. He adds that he would “like my invitation to extend beyond the bounds of the Catholic Church, and to reach all of you, men and women of good will, who are open to hearing God’s voice.

The Pope reminds us that although the flame of charity may die in our hearts, it never dies in God’s. He invites us to participate in the “24 Hours for the Lord” on Friday and Saturday,  March 9-10. After “Eucharistic adoration and sacramental confession,” he says that the “new fire” of the Easter Vigil, the light of Christ will enable us to listen to God’s word and nourish ourselves on the Eucharist, making our hearts “more ardent in faith, hope and love.” – CWN/Vatican News

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