I picked this up from my friend Fr. John Boyle’s blog Caritas in Veritate. It concerns the cause for beatification of the first bishop of Marquette, MI, Frederic Baraga. Baraga went to my native Minnesota as well.
March 12, 2011 is a very important day in the Cause for Beatification of our first Bishop, Frederic Baraga. On that day the positio will be examined at the Vatican by a group of theological consultors to the Congregation for Causes of Saints. This positio is the documentation of the life, ministry and writings of the Servant of God Frederic Baraga. It also includes a summary of his virtues.
The theological consultors, after discussing Bishop Baraga’s life and ministry, will make a formal recommendation to the Congregation for Causes of Saints concerning whether or not Bishop Baraga exhibited in his life what is referred to as “heroic virtue.” If such a recommendation is made and accepted by the Congregation, then it goes to the Pope who would declare the heroic virtue and give Bishop Baraga the title of “Venerable.”
This is a critical step in the eventual beatification of Bishop Baraga, the other being the recognition of a miracle attributable to his intercession. We have been waiting for over twelve years for this step to be taken.
Bishop Alexander K. Sample is calling upon all the faithful of the Diocese of Marquette and beyond to observe Friday, March 11, 2011 as a day of prayer and penance for the success of this important step. Due to the six-hour time difference between here and Rome, it is important that we pray before the examination by the theologians on March 12. The bishop especially recommends attendance at Mass, Eucharistic adoration and not eating between meals. Since this is a Friday in Lent, he is also asking that our communal abstinence from meat on March 11 be offered for this special intention.