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3 Nuns, 2 laywomen and priest named Venerable

Chrystus na krzyżu

Fr. Lawrence OP | Flickr | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

I.Media - published on 03/24/23

One of the nuns is a Londoner of Irish origin, who ministered with the Order of St. Brigid in Sweden.

Pope Francis approved the recognition of the heroic virtue of six new venerables on March 23, 2023. The list includes three nuns – one British, one Italian and one Portuguese – an Italian priest; a missionary in Ecuador; a lady-in-waiting of the court of Castile (Spain) in the 15th century; and a young Italian woman with the stigmata.

In an audience with the Prefect of the Dicastery for Saints’ Causes, Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, the Pope authorized the publication of decrees recognizing the heroic virtues of these six “Servants of God,” granting them the title of Venerable.

The decree recognizes the heroic virtues of Salesian Father Carlo Crespi Croci (1891-1982). This Milanese missionary, whose model was St. John Bosco, came to Ecuador in 1923 to dedicate himself to the pastoral care of the “shuar” and “kivari” populations in the city of Cuenca. As a good Salesian, he was responsible for the creation of four schools, as well as a theater, an orphanage, and a museum. Renowned for his evangelizing witness throughout the country, he is also recognized in the field of botany and archaeology.

The British nun Catherine Flanagan (1892-1941) – born Florence Kate – was also recognized as venerable. A Londoner of Irish origin, she discovered in her youth the life of Saint Brigid and the Order of the Holy Savior, founded by this Swedish princess in the 14th century, but which was revived in the 20th century under the impetus of Saint Elizabeth Hesselblad. She joined the “Brigittines” in 1913 in Rome and then was sent to Sweden before becoming prioress of the convent in Lugano, Switzerland. In the 1930s, she founded communities in the United Kingdom and Sweden, where she was diagnosed with cancer. She died in Stockholm after a painful agony.

Learn about St. Elizabeth Hesselblad here:

And about St. Brigid and her daughter, St. Catherine, here:

The heroic virtues of a second religious, Leonilde of St. John the Baptist (1890-1945) – born Amelia Rossi – were also recognized. Originally from Trentino in Italy, this orphan joined the novitiate of the Institute of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in Istria (Italian-speaking Croatia) at the age of 16. She became Superior General of the congregation in 1932, but her health deteriorated during the Second World War and she eventually died in a hospital in Viterbo.

A third and final nun became venerable: Marie do Monte Pereira (1897-1963) – born Eliza de Jesús. Orphaned as a teenager, this native of Madeira (Portugal) had to take care of her family at only 17 years of age, especially her older sister who suffered from mental illness. Very pious, she eventually joined the congregation of the Hospitaller Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and dedicated her life to caring for the mentally ill.


The heroic virtues of a Spanish laywoman, Teresa Enríquez de Alvarado (1456-1529), have been recognized. This lady-in-waiting of Queen Isabella of Castile married the commander of the crown, with whom she had four children. Widowed in 1503, she retired to Torrijos near Toledo and devoted herself to prayer. When the plague broke out and famine ravaged her country, she created two schools to care for orphaned girls threatened by prostitution, and also built a hospital. She also financed the creation of confraternities to revive the worship of the Blessed Sacrament.

Finally, the heroic virtues of a 19th century Italian laywoman, Maria Dominica Lazzeri (1815-1848), were recognized. Having fallen ill at a very young age while caring for her mother, this young girl from Trentino received the stigmata, and a crown of bloody thorns appeared on her head every Friday. She died at the age of 33.

For these six new venerables to be beatified one day, the Church must recognize a miracle due to their intercession. The authentication of a second miracle could finally open the way to a canonization.

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