Vatican City, Apr 16, 2018 : Reports state that Pope Francis has cleared the way for eight Servants of God, including an Indian priest, taking them a step closer to sainthood.
On April 14, the Pope received Cardinal Angelo Amato, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and authorized the promulgation of the decrees recognizing the heroic virtues of the Servants of God. They will now have the title Venerable Servant of God or simply Venerable, reports Vatican Radio.
This is the second phase in the four stages of canonization process to declare a person as a saint. A venerable will be elevated to the status of Blessed if a miracle happens through his or her intercession. The person could then be venerated at the altar in his or her country. Another miracle will take the person to the ultimate stage, canonization, that entitles him or her for universal veneration.
The new venerables is Father Varghese Payapilly, a diocesan priest who founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Destitute in Kerala, southern India. He was born on August 8, 1876, and died of typhoid in Ernakulam on October 5, 1929, at the age of 53.
After a disastrous flood in 1924, Father Payapilly transformed his parish into a center for the homeless. The experience led him to start a religious congregation of women and name it the Sisters of the Destitute, on March 19, 1927.
The nuns today run many homes for street children, abandoned elderly people, beggars, terminally ill people with cancer and AIDS, and physically and mentally disabled people. The order also has centers for work activities, hospitals, dispensaries, palliative care centers, kindergartens and schools.
The other new Venerable Servants of God are:
Father Emanuele Nunes Formigão, diocesan priest, founder of the Congregation of the Religious Sisters of the Reparation of Our Lady of Fatima; born in Tomar (Portugal) on January 1, 1883 and died in Fatima (Portugal) on January 30, 1958.
Father Ludovico Longari, a member of the Congregation of Priests of the Most Holy Sacrament; born in Montodine (Italy) on 20 June 1889 and died in Ponteranica (Italy) on 17 June 1963.
Sister Elizabeth Bruyère, Foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Ottawa; born in L’Assomption (Canada) on March 19, 1818 and died in Ottawa (Canada) on April 5, 1876.
Mother Margherita Ricci Curbastro (born: Constance), Founder of the Congregation of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Agony; born in Lugo di Romagna (Italy) on October 6, 1856, and died there on January 7, 1923.
Mother Florenza Giovanna Profilio, Foundress of the Institute of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of Lipari; born in Pirrera (Italy) on December 30, 1873 and died in Rome on February 21, 1956.
Mother Maria Dolores of Christ the King (born: Maria Di Majo), founder of the Congregation of the Missionary Handmaids of Christ the King; born in Palermo (Italy) on December 16, 1888, and died there on June 27, 1967.
Sister Justa Domínguez de Vidaurreta and Idoy, superior of the Spanish Province of the Society of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, born in Azpeitia (Spain) on November 2, 1875 and died in Madrid (Spain) on December 18, 1958.