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Canonizations & beatifications.

The Vatican Congregation for Sainthood Causes has called for more canonizations and beatifications. "These witnesses of the Gospel continue to speak to the Church and the world through the heroism of their virtues and the holiness of their works," Cardinal Jose Martins stated.

"Their memory is particularly alive and incisive in the ecclesial and religious communities of which they formed a part and which served in the name and charity of Christ."

To be canonized saints are three people:

* Blessed Joseph Bilczewski, a Ukrainian archbishop (of the Latin rite) of Leopoli (1860-1923). He was a point of reference for Catholics, Orthodox, and Jews during World War I and later conflicts.

* Blessed Zygmunt Gorazdowski, a Ukrainian diocesan priest and founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph (18451923). He was also the author of a popular catechism and founded a newspaper and several charitable institutions.

* Blessed Gaetano Catanoso, an Italian diocesan priest and founder of the Congregation of the Daughters of Saint Veronica, Missionaries of the Holy Face (1879-1963).

Among the beatified are:

* Clemens August von Galen, Bishop of Muenster (1878-1946). He defended the people from the errors and aggressions of Nazism, risking arrest and death. Pope Plus XII elevated him to cardinal. He died a month later, on March 22, 1946.

The miracle on which the Vatican congregation pronounced itself, is the case of Henrikus Nahak, a student from India who in 1995 was completely cured of an illness after praying for the intercession of von Galen.

As Bishop of Muenster during the Nazi period, von Galen raised his voice in defence of-the rights of the poor and the sick, and protested vigorously against euthanasia, the seizing of monasteries and convents, and the expulsion of religious. To avoid revolts because of the bishop's condemnation of euthanasia, Hitler gave an order to block officially the execution of a euthanasia program. The Nazis continued to practise euthanasia in low-profile cases. Like most other German bishops of the day, he did not mention the ongoing attacks on the Jews.

Pope Pius XII used to read Bishop von Galen's homilies and presented him as a "hero" to German soldiers in Westphalia.

* Charles de Foucauld, a French diocesan priest (1858-1916). After a personal conversion, he lived in poverty, contemplation, and humility. He was killed in the Sahara desert.

The Vatican officially attributed a miracle to the intercession of this French explorer and evangelizer in the Sahara, clearing the way for his beatification, in relation to the miraculous cure of a cancer sufferer in 1984.

Born in Strasbourg, France, in 1858, de Foucauld was orphaned at 6. After a brief military career, in 1883 he undertook an expedition in the Moroccan desert which won him the gold medal of the French Geographic Society.

His religious conversion occurred in 1886. He went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1888. After his experience as a Trappist in Syria and as a hermit in Nazareth, he was ordained a priest in 1901. He studied Arabic and Hebrew.

In order to imitate Jesus' hidden life in Nazareth, de Foucauld went to live in Tamanrasset, in the heart of the Sahara desert. There he wrote several books on the Tuareg, including a book of grammar and a French-Tuareg dictionary. He founded the Union of Brothers and Sisters of the Sacred Heart, which was committed to the evangelization of the Tuareg. On Dec. 1, 1916, at 58, de Foucauld was shot dead in a skirmish among the Berbers of Hoggar.

Ten religious congregations and eight spiritual life associations have been inspired by his testimony and charism.

* Mother Marianne Cope, a German religious of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis in Syracuse, New York (1838-1918). Mother Marianne Cope devoted her life to care for lepers alongside Blessed Father Damien on the Hawaiian island of Molokai.

Born as Barbara Koob in Germany, she moved to New York when she was 3 and became an American citizen. She joined the sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis in Syracuse.

Later, as superior of the Franciscan convent in Syracuse, Mother Marianne answered King David Kalakaua's request for assistance for children with leprosy, described as a "national affliction" in Hawaii. She took six other nuns and remained in the islands until her death in 1918 at 80.

The religious worked in Kalaupapa, on Molokai, alongside Father Damien de Veuster during the last five months of his life. The Belgian priest died of leprosy in 1889 (and was beatified in 1995).

After Father Damien's death, Mother Marianne ran the home for men and children with leprosy in Molokai. Her legacy has inspired books, plays, and songs. in addition to establishing a home for women with leprosy, or Hansen's disease, she started what is now the Maui Memorial Hospital, the first on the island. Unlike Blessed Damien, none of the sisters were ever touched by leprosy.
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Title Annotation:Vatican
Publication:Catholic Insight
Geographic Code:4EXVA
Date:Feb 1, 2005
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