And canonization cleared for Dutch priest killed in Dachau who defended conscience rights of Catholic journalists.
On November 25, Pope Francis recognized a miracle attributed to a Dutch Carmelite who died in Dachau and another attributed to a foundress of a religious community in Italy – opening the door to their canonization.
The same decree also recognizes the martyrdom of five French priests as well as the heroic virtues of six servants of God, including a child.
Pope Francis acknowledged a second miracle attributed to Blessed Titus Brandsma (1881-1942), a Dutch Carmelite from Oegeklooster, the Netherlands. He joined the Carmelites in 1905 and initially taught philosophy and mathematics in a center of his congregation. He participated in the translation of the works of Saint Teresa of Avila into Dutch, then was appointed in 1923 a professor of philosophy and history of mysticism at the Catholic University of Nijmegen, later becoming the chancellor.
In 1935, he was appointed ecclesiastical assistant of the Association of Catholic Journalists. In 1942, he visited Catholic newspapers on behalf of the Dutch episcopate, asking them to resist Nazi pressure. A few days later, he was arrested and sent to a prison in the country. He then underwent several transfers before being imprisoned in the Dachau concentration camp in Germany. Due to the inhumane conditions and forced labor, he fell ill and was interned in the camp hospital, where he was finally killed on July 26, 1942, by an injection of carbonic acid.
Pope John Paul II recognized a first miracle, culminating in his beatification in 1985. The second miracle that opens the way to his canonization concerns the miraculous healing of a Carmelite priest in 2004 in Palm Beach, Florida. He had invoked the blessed and placed a relic of him on the parts of his body affected by severe inflammation.
Pope Francis also recognized a second miracle attributed to Mary of Jesus (1852-1923), née Carolina Santocanale, and originally from Palermo in Sicily. This Italian became a Franciscan tertiary in 1887. In 1891, she began to visit the poor and the sick with other sisters, then orphans. As her following increased, she drew up the charter of a congregation, the Capuchin Sisters of the Immaculate of Lourdes in 1910. She died of a heart attack in 1923.
Mary of Jesus was beatified in 2016 after recognition of a miracle by Pope Francis. The new miracle concerns a woman suffering from infertility for medical reasons. This woman and her husband invoked the Blessed in front of a relic, and finally succeeded in having two children in 2017 and 2019.
Six new venerables, including a child
Pope Francis recognized the heroic virtues of Odette Vidal Cardoso (1931-1939), a young Brazilian. This very pious girl from Rio de Janeiro contracted typhoid when she was only eight years old. She fought for 49 days with “extraordinary” strength, without complaining, only asking to receive Communion each day, before dying. If she is eventually canonized, she would be the youngest non-martyr saint, as she would be a few months younger than Jacinta Marto, one of the Fatima visionaries.
Pope Francis recognized the heroic virtues of Bishop Antonio Bello (1935-1993), Bishop of Molfetta-Ruvo-Giovinazzo-Terlizzi. Ordained in 1957, he carried out his pastoral mission in Puglia, in southern Italy, until John Paul II appointed him bishop of Molfetta. He then distinguished himself as president of the Pax Christi Movement in his country, making a strong commitment against the Gulf war and the war in the Balkans.
The heroic virtues of John of Jesus Mary (1564-1614) have also been recognized. This Spanish priest was a member of the Discalced Carmelites. Born in Calahorra into a Jewish family converted to Catholicism, Juan de San Pedro y Ustárroz studied philosophy and joined the Discalced Carmelites of Pastrana in 1583. Ordained in 1589, he was sent to Genoa then to Rome. A prolific writer of essays in theology and mysticism, he was the postulator of the trial of Saint Teresa of Avila. He died after having led the Discalced Carmelites in 1614.
The Sovereign Pontiff also recognized the heroic virtues of Giorgio Guzzetta (1682-1756). This Italian Oratorian priest from the Albanian community in Sicily did a lot for evangelization, and the education of his ethnic community.
Pope Francis recognized the heroic virtues of two Italian nuns: Natalina Bonardi (1864-1945), née Maria Bonardi, founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Mary of Loreto; Maria Dositea Bottani (1896-1970), née Maria Domenica Bottani, Ursuline Superior.