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BEATIFICATION APRIL 30 FOR BLESSED FAUSTINA?
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- The canonization of Blessed Faustina Kowalska will take place on April 30, according to a report in an Italian newspaper. The Vatican has not officially confirmed that date.
The Italian daily Il Messaggero reported on January 5 that the Polish nun, who died of tuberculosis in 1938 at the age of 33, would be canonized on the first Sunday after Easter. That date would coincide with the feast of Divine Mercy-- a devotion which Blessed Faustina inspired.
On December 20, 1999, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints read a decree recognizing the authenticity of a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Faustina, thus clearing the way for her canonization. Archbishop Jose Saraiva Martins, the prefect of the Congregation, told the Roman news agency I Media that the April 30 date is "not impossible." But he quickly added that "nothing is official yet."
The actual date of the canonization is subject to the decision of the Vatican Secretariat of State, which must consider other items on the calendar for the Holy See. The official calendar for the Jubilee Year shows one event already set for April 30: a ceremony in St. Pancras Basilica for newly baptized adults. However, there is no indication that Pope John Paul II will take part in that ceremony; so he could be free for a canonization ceremony on the same day.
The Il Messaggero story predicted with confidence that the Pope would preside at the beatification of Blessed Faustina, presumably in St. Peter's Square. The newspaper pointed out that the Pontiff has a strong interest in the Divine Mercy devotion, and indeed consecrated his second encyclical, Dives in Misercordia, to that spiritual topic.
Il Messaggero also predicted that the flood of pilgrims coming to Rome for the beatification of Blessed Faustina would surpass the previous record crowds at the Vatican: the 300,000 who came to the beatification of Msgr. Josemaria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei, in May 1992, and the 500,000 who attended the beatification of Padre Pio, the Capuchin stigmatist, in May 1999. The Divine Mercy spirituality has inspired groups all around the world, fostering unusually intense interest in Blessed Faustina's cause. In the town of Lagiewniki, outside Krakow, where Sister Faustina died, construction is underway for a huge sanctuary dedicated to Divine Mercy; the church will hold 7,000 people when it is opened-- according to current plans, in 20002.
January 6, 2000 |
volume 10, no. 4
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