Fr Stephen Smuts

Posts Tagged ‘Sainthood

Pope John Paul II to be a Saint

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The Roman Catholic Church will declare the late Pope John Paul II a saint, the Vatican announced Friday.

Pope Francis signed the decree Friday morning, the Vatican said. John Paul was pope from 1978 until his death in 2005, and was in a way the first rock star pontiff, drawing vast crowds as he crisscrossed the globe.

At his funeral, thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square and chanted “Santo subito” — Sainthood now! The Polish-born pope was fast-tracked to beatification and became “the blessed” John Paul II barely six years after his death, the fastest beatification in centuries.

Pope John XXIII, who convened the Vatican II council in the 1960s, will also be declared a saint, the Vatican said

No date has been announced for the canonization ceremony.

Pope John Paul II, the third-longest serving pope in history, died in April 2005 at the age of 84.

He had suffered from Parkinson’s disease, arthritis and other ailments for several years before his death.

During his tenure, he became the most widely traveled pope in history and canonized more saints than any other pope.

His papacy included a lot of firsts. He was the first modern pope to visit a synagogue and the first pope to visit Cuba.

There are essentially three steps to becoming a Catholic saint after death.

First, the title “venerable” is formally given by the pope to someone judged to have exhibited “heroic virtues.” Second, a miracle must be attributed to the deceased person’s intervention, allowing beatification. Canonization — or sainthood — requires a second attributed miracle.

In 2010, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI approved John Paul’s first reported miracle: a French nun supposedly cured of Parkinson’s disease.

Sister Marie-Simon-Pierre, a nun whose order prayed to the pope after he died, said she was cured of the disease, an ailment that also afflicted John Paul.

The second miracle reportedly occurred in Costa Rica, where a woman said she recovered from a severe brain injury thanks to the intervention of John Paul, sources told CNN Vatican analyst John Allen.

Patrick Kelly, executive director of the Blessed John Paul II Shrine in Washington, explained the church’s process for investigating reported miracles.

“A team of doctors first examine the miracle. Secondly, the team of theologians look at the miracles, and then they discuss amongst themselves the legitimacy and all the facts surrounding the miracles,” he said…


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

July 5, 2013 at 16:14

St Benedict

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St Benedict of Nursia is the Saint of the Day.

Girded with a faith, and the performance of good works, let us follow in Christ’s path by the guidance of the Gospel; then we shall deserve to see him “who has called us into his kingdom.” If we wish to attain a dwelling place in his kingdom, we shall not reach it unless we hasten there by our good deeds. Just as there exists an evil fervor, a bitter spirit, which divides us from God and leads us to hell, so there is a good fervor which sets us apart from evil inclinations and leads us toward God and eternal life. No one should follow what he considers to be good for himself, but rather what seems good for another. Let them put Christ before all else; and may he lead us all to everlasting life.

– from the Rule of Saint Benedict

There is a online guide to St Benedict here.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

July 11, 2012 at 09:11

One Day This Woman Will Be a Saint

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Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

June 29, 2012 at 19:54

South Africa May Get First Saint

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Johannesburg – The Catholic Church will soon consider whether a South African man killed over 20 years ago should be proclaimed blessed – the first step towards sainthood – according to a Sunday Times report.

The man would be the first saint to be recognised from South Africa, the weekly asserted.

Bendict Daswa, a businessman and devout Roman Catholic from rural Limpopo, was murdered in February 1990, aged 46, after rejecting claims of the existence of witchcraft in his village, Mbahe, near Thoyohandou.

A group of villagers beat him with sticks and rocks and poured boiling water over him. He had refused to participate in hiring a witchdoctor to help find those responsible for a series of lightning strikes in the area.

Joao Rodrigues, bishop of Tzaneen, said the diocese had thoroughly investigated Daswa’s life and death and had sent a report to the Vatican.

“We believe he was killed in hatred of the faith which he professed privately and publicly,” Rodrigues told the paper.

His diocese is now in the process of putting together a more detailed document, known as a positio. This would include a biography, testimonies, and documents such as Daswa’s birth certificate.

The pope would make the final decision on Daswa’s case.

Daswa was described in the report as a man of prayer who had dedicated his life to the church.

News 24

The official blog promoting his memory is here.

It is nice when a Church is able to maintain an active Acta Sanctorum. Not only ever to celebrate the unchanging list of Saints living prior to the early 1900’s.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

March 12, 2012 at 12:06


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