These parents and siblings watched as their son, daughter, brother or sister was beatified. Their descriptions surely only give a glimpse of the experience.
Many times it takes decades or even centuries before a holy person is officially recognized as a blessed or saint (known as being beatified and then canonized). However, in some cases, the process is much faster. When one of these rare situations occurs, it can mean that a parent or sibling has the unusual experience of being present at the beatification of their own family member.
This person whom they loved in life and now in death is presented to the universal Church as an example of a path to grow closer to Jesus.
For example, the mother of St. Maria Goretti was present at both her daughter’s beatification (1947) and canonization (1950). She was deeply touched at the ceremonies and experienced a joy few have witnessed.
Interestingly, Maria’s killer, Alessandro was also still alive at the time of her beatification and canonization, and by then repentant. Read his story below:
Ruggero and Maria Teresa Badano were able to attend the beatification of their daughter, Blessed Chiara Badano, in 2010. They said to the Catholic News Agency at the time that they were “surprised that two poor people like ourselves were chosen to participate in the contagious Christian experience of our only daughter.”
In Oklahoma City, Fr. Stanley Rother was beatified in front of a large crowd, including his younger sister, Sr. Marita Rother, a Catholic nun from Wichita, Kansas.
Brother James Miller was beatified in 2019 in Huehuetenango, Guatemala, with his sister and brothers able to make the trip from Wisconsin in the United States.
Most recently, Blessed Carlo Acutis was beatified on October 10, 2020, in the presence of both parents and two younger siblings, who will grow up knowing their older brother is a saint. Carlo’s mother spoke to the National Catholic Register about such an experience.
“I don’t consider myself as good as Carlo was; but of course, I tried my best to raise my son. I gave him the freedom to live his faith and some good moral rules — but my husband and I didn’t really need to give him much.”
Raising a saint is the goal of every Catholic parent, and by the grace of God, some parents have had that confirmed for them by the Church.