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.
If God sees fit to reveal the heavenly glory of Bp. Baraga through earthly miracles, then to Him be all praise.
Interetsing, I was just going to list a lot of vintage stuff from the 1920’s/1930’s relating to Bishop Baraga and the Marquette diocese on Ebay today!
There’s a lot of us in the US (and probably Canada too) who had pre-bishop Baraga working in their dioceses, and who really should join this beautiful act of devotion. (And it’s the first Friday of Lent anyway, so we may as well.) Baraga worked in his native Slovenia; Cincinnati, Ohio; Harbor Springs, Grand Rapids, Sault Ste. Marie, and Marquette, Michigan; La Pointe, Wisconsin; and many points around and about and inbetween.
Since he wrote a good many books in several languages, two of them Native American, I bet it was a real task to get all that together.
It appears that we are reaching the tipping point as far as having an American presence on the universal calendar of the Church.
My point was that soon there will be a large number of Americans on the Calendar.
If you ever find yourself on US highway 41 in L’Anse, Michigan, there’s a 35 foot statue of Bishop Baraga on the shore of Lake Superior. A beautiful spot, well worth a stop.