Saturday, December 19, 2009

Decree on Heroic Virtues of Pius XII and John Paul II

This morning, Our Most Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has approved the promulgation of several decrees of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints. Outstanding among them are the decrees concerning:

- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Pius XII (Eugenio Pacelli), Supreme Pontiff; born at Rome on 2 March 1876 and died at Castelgandolfo on 9 October 1958

- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God John Paul II (Karol Wojtyła), Supreme Pontiff; born at Wadowice on 18 May 1920 and died at Rome on 2 April 2005

- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Mary Ward (to the world Joan), Foundress of the Institute of the Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary, today Congregatio Jesu; born at Mulwith (England) on 23 January 1585 and died at Hewarth (England) on 30 January 1645

Further notable decrees regard Bl. Mary MacKillop and Fray Leopoldo de Alpandeire (to whom I have a personal devotion).

While the decree regarding John Paul II was widely expected to be approved today, the decree concenring Pius XII is a very welcome surprise after the plenary of the Congregation of the Causes of the Saints had already approved it in 2007. This is the decisive step on his way to beatification, for which many (including me) have been praying for a long time.

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