Pope Waves 5-Year Waiting Period for Sister Lucia’s Beatification Process to Begin

Sister Lucia’s Beatification Process to Begin
Pope Waves 5-Year Waiting Period

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 13, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI announced he will dispense with the five-year waiting period established by Canon Law to open the cause of beatification of Sister Lucia, one of the three Fatima visionaries.

The news was announced today in the cathedral of Coimbra, Portugal, by Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, on the third anniversary of the Carmelite’s death.
The Holy Father dispensed with the established waiting period once before for the cause of Pope John Paul II. Benedict XVI made the announcement on May 13, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, some 42 days after the Pontiff’s death in 2005.

John Paul II waived the waiting period in the case of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. The blessed died Sept. 5, 1997, and was beatified by John Paul II on Oct. 19, 2003.

A communiqué of the Vatican press office states: "Benedict XVI, taking into account the petition presented by Bishop Albino Mamede Cleto of Coimbra, and supported by numerous bishops and faithful from all parts of the world, has revoked the five-year waiting period established by the canonical norms (cf. Article 9 of the ‘Normae Servandae’), and he has allowed for the diocesan phase of the Carmelite’s cause of beatification to begin three years after her death."

Apparitions

Lucia de Jesus dos Santos was 10 years old when she said she saw for the first time, on May 13, 1917, a lady whom she later identified as the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the Cova de Iria.

She saw the vision with her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto, who were beatified by John Paul II in Fatima, in 2000.

In a pastoral letter dated Oct. 13, 1930, the bishop of Leiria-Fatima, José Alves Correia da Silva, declared the apparitions of Fatima worthy of faith and allowed public devotion. Since then, the shrine has become a center of spirituality and pilgrimage of international scope.

Born in Aljustrel in 1907, Lucia moved to Oporto in 1921, and at 14 was admitted as a boarder in the School of the Sisters of St. Dorothy in Vilar, on the city’s outskirts.

On Oct. 24, 1925, she entered the Institute of the Sisters of St. Dorothy and at the same time was admitted as a postulant in the congregation’s convent in Tuy, Spain, near the Portuguese border. She made her first vows on Oct. 3, 1928, and her perpetual vows on Oct. 3, 1934, receiving the name Sister Mary of the Sorrowful Mother.

She returned to Portugal in 1946 and two years later entered the Carmelite convent of St. Teresa in Coimbra, where she made her profession as a Discalced Carmelite on May 31, 1949, taking the name Sister Maria Lucia of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart.

She wrote two volumes, one entitled "Memories" and the other "Appeals of the Fatima Message." In her writings, she recounts how the Virgin Mary and Child Jesus appeared to her on other occasions, years after the initial apparitions.

The mortal remains of the Carmelite were moved in 2006 to the Shrine of Fatima. The body of the nun, who died at age 97, is buried next to Jacinta. Francisco is buried in the same basilica.

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27 Responses to Pope Waves 5-Year Waiting Period for Sister Lucia’s Beatification Process to Begin

  1. Tim Ferguson says:

    I’ve also heard rumblings that the cause of Fr. Michael McGivney, at long last, is moving forward. Wonderful news!

  2. Theodorus says:

    There are three causes I am eagerly hopeing to move forward: canonization of Bl. Francis Seelos, beatification of Ven. Solanus Casey, and of course, beatification of Ven. Pius XII.

  3. prof. basto says:

    The pope has yet to approve the decree prepared by the Congregation
    of the Causes of Saints recognizing the heroic virtues of Servant of God
    Pope Pius XII. The decree is on the pope’s desk for months, and there have
    been other consistory’s for causes of the saints since then, without the
    much-awaited approval being made public.

    Fr. Z yesterday published the Pope’s public agenda of liturgical celebrations
    for the next few months, and there is a consistory for causes of saints in it.
    I’m hoping to see the decree approved then.

    Can’t wait to call the great Pius XII venerable. A trully holy pontiff, so
    despised by the secular press.

  4. prof. basto says:

    Regarding the status of Pope Pius as servant of God (not venerable yet –
    wikipedia is wrong – don’t trust it)

    “Pope Pius XII and the Anti-Defamation League

    On May 8, 2007, members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints voted unanimously to recommend that Pope Benedict XVI formerly declare Pope Pius XII “Venerable.” Hopefully this recognition that Pope Pius XII lived the Christian virtues in a heroic manner will bring an end to the controversy over whether he did enough in defense of the Jews and other victims of the Nazis. The thirty cardinals and bishops-from Italy, Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Japan, and the USA-studied six volumes of documents comprising more than 3,000 pages.

    However, soon after the anouncement, Abraham H. Foxman, National Anti-Defamation League Director and a Holocaust survivor, urged Pope Benedict XVI to suspend the action taken by the Vatican Congregation regarding Pius XII’s “heroic virtues” until all Pius XII documents in the Vatican Archives are made available.

    Ever since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958, every pope from John XXIII to Benedict XVI noted his sanctity. In fact, in his first Christmas message, John XXIII said his predecessor was worthy of canonization and called him, “Supreme doctor, light of holy mother Church, lover of the divine law.” Pope John Paul II at the start of his 1987 visit to the United States, defended Pius XII during a meeting with Jewish leaders, recalling “how deeply he felt about the tragedy of the Jewish people, and how hard and effectively he worked to assist them during the Second World War.”

    It was Pope Pius XII who authorized false baptismal certificates to save Jewish lives. He also distributed visas for Jews to enter other countries, and ordered the superiors of convents and monasteries to open their doors and hide Jews and other victims of the Nazis and Fascists. Angelo Roncalli (Pope John XXIII) who also distributed many certifcates stated that all he was doing was following the Pope’s directives.

    Almost fifty years have passed since Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, then Apostolic Nuncio in Istanbul, wrote in his Diary about an audience with Pope Pius XII on October 10, 1941. He declared that the Pope’s statements were “prudent.”

    It is interesting to note that when news of Pius XII’s death on October 9, 1958, was flashed around the world, an editorial, “Fighter for Peace,” in the Los Angeles Examiner expressed the sentiments of Catholics and non-Catholics, and declared that this Fighter for Peace was the Pope of Peace. Of those mourning the pope’s death, Jews-who credited him with being one of their greatest benefactors-were in the forefront.

    Did Pope Pius XII help the Jews? Indeed he did. Nor can one claim he was “silent.” Rather one must speak of his “prudence.” In his Christmas radio messages of ’41, ’42, and ’43 following this audience, Pope Pius XII denounced theories that attribute rights to “a particular race.” He revealed that “hundreds of thousands of people, through no fault of theirs, sometimes only because of nationality or race, were destined to die.”

    Sister Margherita Marchione”
    source: http://www.piusxiipope.info/

    Sister Marchione is a recipient of the Holy See’s Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice
    award for her work in defense of the memory of Pius XII. I could not confirm
    if she is the postulant of the cause.

  5. prof. basto says:

    Regarding the status of Pope Pius as servant of God (not venerable yet –
    wikipedia is wrong – don’t trust it)

    “Pope Pius XII and the Anti-Defamation League

    On May 8, 2007, members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints voted unanimously to recommend that Pope Benedict XVI formerly declare Pope Pius XII “Venerable.” Hopefully this recognition that Pope Pius XII lived the Christian virtues in a heroic manner will bring an end to the controversy over whether he did enough in defense of the Jews and other victims of the Nazis. The thirty cardinals and bishops-from Italy, Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Japan, and the USA-studied six volumes of documents comprising more than 3,000 pages.

    However, soon after the anouncement, Abraham H. Foxman, National Anti-Defamation League Director and a Holocaust survivor, urged Pope Benedict XVI to suspend the action taken by the Vatican Congregation regarding Pius XII’s “heroic virtues” until all Pius XII documents in the Vatican Archives are made available.

    Ever since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958, every pope from John XXIII to Benedict XVI noted his sanctity. In fact, in his first Christmas message, John XXIII said his predecessor was worthy of canonization and called him, “Supreme doctor, light of holy mother Church, lover of the divine law.” Pope John Paul II at the start of his 1987 visit to the United States, defended Pius XII during a meeting with Jewish leaders, recalling “how deeply he felt about the tragedy of the Jewish people, and how hard and effectively he worked to assist them during the Second World War.”

    It was Pope Pius XII who authorized false baptismal certificates to save Jewish lives. He also distributed visas for Jews to enter other countries, and ordered the superiors of convents and monasteries to open their doors and hide Jews and other victims of the Nazis and Fascists. Angelo Roncalli (Pope John XXIII) who also distributed many certifcates stated that all he was doing was following the Pope’s directives.

    Almost fifty years have passed since Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, then Apostolic Nuncio in Istanbul, wrote in his Diary about an audience with Pope Pius XII on October 10, 1941. He declared that the Pope’s statements were “prudent.”

    It is interesting to note that when news of Pius XII’s death on October 9, 1958, was flashed around the world, an editorial, “Fighter for Peace,” in the Los Angeles Examiner expressed the sentiments of Catholics and non-Catholics, and declared that this Fighter for Peace was the Pope of Peace. Of those mourning the pope’s death, Jews-who credited him with being one of their greatest benefactors-were in the forefront.

    Did Pope Pius XII help the Jews? Indeed he did. Nor can one claim he was “silent.” Rather one must speak of his “prudence.” In his Christmas radio messages of ’41, ’42, and ’43 following this audience, Pope Pius XII denounced theories that attribute rights to “a particular race.” He revealed that “hundreds of thousands of people, through no fault of theirs, sometimes only because of nationality or race, were destined to die.”

    Sister Margherita Marchione”
    source: http://www.piusxiipope.info/

    Sister Marchione is a recipient of the Holy See’s Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice
    award for her work in defense of the memory of Pius XII. I could not confirm
    if she is the postulant of the cause.

  6. Cory says:

    When is someone going to open the cause for Leo XIII? Why has this not been done? He’s been dead for 100 years now, seems to me the waiting period is long over. He seems to be very sadly overlooked in terms of great Popes. He is, after all, the one who gave us the St. Michael prayer (and its longer form that most people aren’t as familiar with), and his copious writings (85 encyclicals, including nearly a dozen on the Rosary) are a real treasure to the Church. SANTO SUBITO!

  7. Geoffrey says:

    Regarding the Servant of God Pope Pius XII, the February 2008 “The Catholic World Report” (page 9) is reporting that Pope Benedict XVI has formed an “ad hoc commission to investigate the controversy surrounding the wartime pope’s response to the Haolocaust. The report suggests that Pope Benedict is reluctant to move forward toward the beatification of Pope Pius XII, and the creation of a new commission is a means of delaying the cause.”

    The article goes on to say that the decree affirming heroic virtue was ready to be approved by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, but the decree needed the approval of the Pope, “and that approval was evidently not given.”

  8. Frederick Jones says:

    To be “slavishly accurate” one would spell waives correctly. As for Pius XII why not consult that excellent Jewish authority Rabbi David G Dalin “The Myth of Hitler’s Pope – How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews from the Nazis” ? Rabbi Dalin disposes very efficiently of the propaganda against Pius which has been spread so efficiently by Communist and renegade Catholic sources. One commentator concludes after reading his book that “the tragedy of the Jewish people has been shamelessly exploited by foes of traditional religion” and that Pius was “a friend and protector of the Jewish people in their time of greatest need”.

  9. Maureen says:

    It’s very likely that the Holy Father is waiting on public and historical opinion to shift back to the truth. He doesn’t want to scandalize anybody and drive them away from the Church, and certainly the good Pope his predecessor would agree. For that matter, it would be nice if more popular devotion to the good man would appear. This, too, is important to the sainthood process.

    The more people who know and appreciate the truth of Pius’ life and service to Christ, the quicker he’ll be a named saint.

  10. Flambeaux says:

    To whom would I address a letter in the Congregation for Causes of Saints to inquire about the state of the cause of Cardinal Merry del Val?

    Any ideas?

  11. Jason says:

    Flambeaux, you would address your enquiry to the Cardinal Prefect, His Eminence José Saraiva Martins. If you would prefer, I have the address for the Postulator of Cardinal Merry del Val’s Cause:

    Postulatore Causa C.
    Card. Merry Del Val
    Via Di Torre Rossa, 2
    00165 – Roma.

    Having said that, the last time I contacted the Postulator was in 1993; there is a possibility that he may have moved since then. Here is the reply that I received on that occasion:
    http://w15.easy-share.com/1699566991.html

    I also have a letter from a priest who is very devoted to Cardinal Merry Del Val (dated 1999), in which he says that ‘the cause is again making progress, but it is very slow progress’: please God, the situation has improved since then!!!

    Here is a link to some printable prayer cards: http://www.sensustraditionis.org/devotional.html I think we need to let as many people know about this great Servant of God as possible!

    I hope that helps. Please let us know of any reply that you receive.

  12. Jason says:

    Flambeaux: I have found another letter from the same priest, dated 2004 in which he mentions that there had been ‘new developments in the cause and the Secretary of State for the Vatican is now involved’. What effect that had on the situation, as regards moving things along, I don’t know.

  13. Flambeaux says:

    Jason,

    Thank you. I presume writing in English is permissable? My written Italian is nonexistent, and I suspect my Latin composition would be crude enough to cause more confusion than clarity.

  14. Jason says:

    Writing to both the Congregation & the Cardinal’s Postulator in English is perfectly acceptable Flambeaux. Whenever I have addressed a letter (in English :c) to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, I have always recieved a very gracious reply from the Congregation’s Secretary, Archbishop Novak.

  15. Diogo Taveira says:

    Maybe you could write in Portuguese to His Eminence? If you need help, just ask.

  16. Jason says:

    It’s perfectly acceptable to write to both the Congregation and the Cardinal’s Postulator in English, Flambeaux. In response to all the enquiries that I have addressed to the Congregation of the Causes of Saints (in English), I have always received very gracious replies signed by the Congregation’s Secretary, Archbishop Novak.

  17. Flambeaux says:

    Thanks, all. I’ll add this to my Agenda this weekend, as the good Cardinal has been much on my mind of late.

  18. Dan Soderlund says:

    I eagerly await the beatification of Sister Lucia. Our Lady of Fatima
    is responsible for my conversion back to Catholicism. A lot of us waiting
    patiently for the Triumph Of The Immaculate Heart Of Mary, as promised
    at Fatima, have hoped that Lucia’s death may be one of those “sign posts”
    indicating something big is going to happen soon. We can only hope that God,
    in His infinite mercy, will allow Mary’s peace plan for the world to come
    to fruition soon. Our sin-sick world is in great need of a major “attitude
    adjustment”. May Sister Lucia intercede for the world and ask our Lady to
    hasten her triumph!

  19. David Deavel says:

    Don’t you mean “waives”?

  20. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    In the title, I think that that’s ‘waives’, not “waves”. Sorry, but it’s my job to make corrections like that.

    P.K.T.P.

  21. Andrew says:

    Hey Dan

    Thanks a lot for your comment. You are the first one that has talked about Sister Lucia’s cause for beatification being advanced, along with Mother Teresa and John Paul II.

    Every one else has gotten sidetracked. Sadly, there are not that many people devoted to Our Lady of Fatima on this blog.

    I urge everyone to read her book “Calls from the Message of Fatima” where she speaks of Mary as CoRedemptrix 6 times. The dogma will come, particularly after Cardinal Toppo (a great Latin Mass supporte in Rianchi, India) presented a votum representing 5 cardinals to Pope Benedict, requesting its definition.

  22. Dan Soderlund says:

    Andrew, if more people would become devotees of the message of Fatima, we would
    see many conversions and peace as Our Lady promised. The message of Fatima is
    just as relevant today as it was in 1917 and its focus is very simple. There are
    three particular messages that have greatly influenced my life:

    “Jesus wishes to establish devotion to my Immaculate Heart in the world. I promise salvation to those who embrace it.” (June 13, 1917)

    “Pray the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary to obtain peace in the world . . . for she alone can save it.” (July 13, 1917)

    “Pray much and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to hell because there is no one to make sacrifices for them.” (August 19, 1917)

    Our Lady is asking us to follow the Gospel message. Sr. Lucia followed that
    call with great vigor and faithfulness. I am confident she will quickly be declared
    to be a saint.

  23. Flambeaux says:

    FWIW, obessing about Fatima as a child is one of the things that led me to reject the Faith. I’m not sure that too much emphasis on it is healthy.

  24. Andrew says:

    It was at Fatima, that Our Lady promised the triumph of her Immaculate Heart, and asked everyone to say the rosary every day, and later on in Pontevedra to Sr Lucia, make the First Five Saturdays in reparation.

    It is not without accident that Sr Lucia’s cause for sainthood has been advanced, only hte third time that the 5 year waiting period after death has been waived, since new regulations were brought in by John Paul II in 1983. This follows the beatification of her two cousins, Francisco & Jacinta in 2000 by John Paul.

    And while I know this may upset a lot of people who read this particular blog, Sr Lucia had a preference for the vernacular liturgy which was offered at her convent in Coimbra.

    There may be many arguments in favour of the greater use of the Old Mass. Unfortunately Sr Lucia is not one of the persons that can be utilized here.

    But this fact is significant when reflecting on the harsh polemics sometimes used against even the proper celebration of the Novus Ordo.

  25. Michael says:

    Flambeaux,
    I am doubtful that the truth about Fatima and Our Lady’s message to the world had anything to do with your rejection of the Faith. I would say that the Message of Fatima cannot be stressed enough in these dark times. May Our Lady of Fatima’s Immaculate Heart be your refuge.

    Andrew,
    I’m curious to know where you heard or read that about Sr. Lucia. I’m not denying the possibility but I am cautious to accept any alleged statements from her before she was put under strict silence after 1960.

  26. Michael says:

    Flambeaux,
    I doupt that the truth about Fatima and Our Lady’s message to the world had anything to do with your rejection of the Faith. I would say that the Message of Fatima cannot be stressed enough in these dark times. May Our Lady of Fatima’s Immaculate Heart be your refuge.

    Andrew,
    I’m curious to know where you heard or read that about Sr. Lucia. I’m not denying the possibility but I am cautious to accept any alleged statements from her before she was put under strict silence after 1960.

  27. Andrew says:

    Dear Michael,

    I have a friend of mine who lives in Portugal, who has been an interpreter to her when Sister Lucia was interviewed by many high ranking prelates from overeseas visited the Carmel of Coimbra, where she resided.

    Sr Lucia is certainly quite conservative on liturgical matters, and in the year 2000 during the beatification of Jacinta & Francisco (I attended as a journalist) I saw her receive communion on the tongue. I think this scene is also available on the EWTN coverage of the event.

    But she had a preference for the vernacular Portuguese liturgy, as opposed to the older Mass she was brought up with. The newer liturgy was offered at her convent, and she always received communion from behind the grille.

    I would like to say that this is no argument against the greater use of the older Mass, and this new motu proprio promulgated by Pope Benedict.

    But in the light of the fact that she has now been fast-tracked for canonization, it should give pause to those who criticize others for participating in reverent celebrations of the Novus Ordo, and prefer this.

    Mother Teresa also participated in the newer liturgy, but always received communion on the tongue, as all her sisters today do. (In 1993, she begged the Holy Father not to allow altar girls. It is somewhat of a mystery why he did this, perhaps an olive branch to feminists irritated over Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, but he is the pope and must be obeyed).

    Traditional people sometimes do so much damage to the cause by their harsh polemics in this arena, and they need ask themselves, are they are any closer to God because of this.

    They need not do better than follow the example of the saints, including the pope who allowed altar girls! There already is quite an incredible miracle obtained through his intercession, the cure of a bed-ridden nun with the same illness he suffered from, Parkinsons Disease.

    And I don’t think the nuns in her convent, who prayed for go, attend the Old Mass either.