Juan Diego, Josemaría Escrivá and Padre Pio Headed for Canonization

Pope Approves Decrees on Miracles

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 20, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Juan Diego, Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer and Padre Pio will soon be canonized saints, following John Paul II´s approval today of three decrees recognizing miracles attributed to the blessed.



Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presented to the Pope the ecclesiastical investigations that came to this conclusion. The Holy Father must now decide the dates for their canonization.

The cardinal presented Blessed Escrivá de Balaguer (1902-1975), founder of the Opus Dei, as an "eminent figure of the Church of the 20th century. With tireless fervor he promoted lay sanctity and with many initiatives took the leaven of the Gospel to the society of our time."

The cardinal then referred to Pio da Pietrelcina (1887-1968), "spiritual son of St. Francis of Assisi," and "humble Capuchin friar who amazed the world with his life dedicated to prayer and to listening to his brothers," adding that his "body marked by the stigmata, showed the intimate connection between death and resurrection that characterizes the paschal mystery."

The prefect then mentioned Blessed Juan Diego, a "Mexican Indian of the 16th century, husband and father of a family. His fame is linked to the Virgin of Guadalupe, who appeared to him in 1531. The unexpected meeting with the Mother of God empowered his journey of faith, which began in adult life, and led him to leave his home and dedicate himself to the custody of the first Guadalupe chapel."

The Pope also approved two additional decrees of miracles attributed to two blessed from Italy: Ignazio Da Santhia (1686-1770), Capuchin religious; and Benedetta Bambiagio Frassinello (1791-1858), founder of the Congregation of Benedictine Religious of Providence.

In addition, four decrees of the recognition of a miracle will lead to the beatification of the following:

--Ludovico Pavoni (1784-1849), Italian priest and founder of the Congregation of the Sons of Mary Immaculate;

--Marco Antonio Durando, Italian priest and founder of the Congregation of Sisters of Jesus the Nazarene (1801-1880);

--Luigi Variara, Italian priest who died in Cucuta, Colombia, and founded the Institute of the Sisters, Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (1875-1923);

--Maria Cristina of the Immaculate Conception, Italian, founder of the Congregation of Religious Expiatory Victims of Jesus of the Blessed Sacrament (1856-Casoria).

Lastly, John Paul II approved four decrees of recognition of the heroic virtues of the following:

--Juan Nepomuceno Zegri Moreno, Spanish priest, founder of the Congregation of Religious of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy (1831-1905);

--Pedro Legaria Armendariz, Spanish priest and founder of the Congregation of the Handmaids of Christ the King (1878-1956);

--Bruno Marchesini, Italian clergyman (1915-1938);

--Maria Ludovica (baptized Antonina De Angelis), Italian-Argentine religious of the Congregation of the Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy (1880-1962).