Spiritans on the Way to being Raised to the Altars
Dear confrères and lay members of the Spiritan family!
Fraternal greetings from the general house in Rome.
On the occasion of the solemnity of All Saints, a special feast for the whole Church, I want through this newsflash to send you some news regarding the causes of our founders and Spiritan confrères: Blessed Daniel Brottier, Blessed Jacques Désiré Laval, Venerable Fr. Francis Libermann and the two Servants of God Fr. Claude François Poullart des Places and Bishop Joseph Shanahan.
It is good to recall that for a cause to go forward, as I wrote to you in my last letter of 27th February 2018, “it is important and necessary that the ‘reputation for holiness’ of a Servant of God or one who is Blessed is solid: ‘it must be stable, continuous in character, spread widely among people of mature faith and be known by a significant number of God’s people’ (Sanctorum Mater, II-Art.7§2)”. It is clear then, that according to this directive of Sanctorum Mater, the work of the Postulator is not only to follow up the progress of the cause, but also to encourage the members of the Congregation to make known the reputation for holiness of our founders and confrères and increase the knowledge and awareness of them among the People of God. This is a challenge for all of us. How can we get all the members of the Congregation to pray more through their intercession, to speak more about them, so that they are better known by the faithful and any favour or miracle granted attributed to one of them? It is important therefore to make such prayers and let us know each time a favour or miracle is granted. Who knows, by God’s grace, we may eventually see the beatification and canonization of our founders and confrères so much desired by us.
Where are we concerning these five causes?
- Claude François Poullart des Places
Fr. Yves-Marie Fradet is at this time working on the “Positio des vertus” which will be sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The editing of the Positio is well advanced, but it is the kind of work that demands a lot of detail and it must follow closely the guidelines given by the said Congregation. Fr. Yves-Marie and I hope to be able to present the “Positio” to the representative of that Congregation in January 2021.
- Venerable Fr. Francis Mary Paul Libermann
Concerning the cause of the Venerable Fr. Francis Libermann, we have received news of a possible miracle which took place at Hemet, California, in the USA. Despite the steps taken by our confrère Fr. Cornelius T.McQuillan, the case has not gone forward. We are still waiting. As soon as there is news of a possible miracle we will be ready to take the necessary steps.
- Blessed Jacques Désiré Laval
Bernard Hym – the Vice-Postulator – and myself have been working together to confirm if there has been a possible miracle in Mauritius. Having gathered all the documents needed: medical examinations, doctors reports, scans etc., we have given the whole file for evaluation to a neurological specialist at the Gemelli hospital here in Rome, designated by the Congregation for the causes of Saints. After a very detailed study of the case he has still found some after effects of the illness remaining. The conclusion therefore was that it was not a miracle but a grace received. The case has been kept on record. We are waiting for more information on a possible miracle.
- Blessed Daniel Brottier
As we said in our last letter, the possible miraculous healing which took place in France in the diocese of Luçon (Vendée), has led to the setting up of a diocesan enquiry committee, and this began its work on the 28th of February 2018. The file has made slow progress. During the recent lockdown the commission had to stop its meetings in order to listen to witnesses. At the moment it has taken up its work again but not without problems as a result of the pandemic. Fr. Yves-Marie Fradet – Vice-Postulator- follows up the work of the commission.
In Argentina, a possible miraculous healing which happened in 2011 has been attributed to the intercession of Blessed Daniel Brottier. The file has been opened but, to confirm the cure, it needs to be completed by the addition of medical examinations planned for May 2021. It could then be presented before the diocesan bishop for the opening of the diocesan enquiry.
- Bishop Joseph Shanahan
His file has not yet arrived in Rome. The Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary are responsible for furthering his cause. After a decision by their present Superior General, Sister Franca Onyibor, the Vice-Postulator for the cause, Sister Chinyeaka Ezeani came to Rome to do the course for postulators and has since returned to Ireland. Together with Sister Catherine Asomugha- Vice-Postulator- in Nigeria, they are working together to advance the cause of bishop Joseph Shanahan.
In conclusion, I repeat what has been said previously: “…the Postulator by himself cannot advance any causes. We need to work together and to help one another, when any specific grace obtained through the intervention of one of our founders or confreres becomes evident”. That is why I want to remind you that my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org is always available for any communication. Do not hesitate to contact me!
Let us pray with conviction for the causes of our founders and confrères to go forward so that, as models of holiness for us and for the whole Church, they may be fully raised to the glory of its altars.
To all of you I wish many blessings, and during this time of pandemic, the protection of the intercession of our founders and confrères, the intercession of all the Saints and of the Blessed Trinity. Happy feast day for All Saints day!
Rome, 1st November 2020
Orlando Zanovelli CSSp