Pope Francis on Saturday cleared the way for 8 Servants of God, including an Indian, taking them a step closer to sainthood.
On April 14, the Holy Father Francis 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 8 Servants of God who will now have the title Venerable Servant of God or simply Venerable
Among them is Father Varghese Payapilly, an Indian diocesan priest, founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Destitute. He was born into a rich family in Konthuruthy (India) on August 8, 1876 and died of typhoid in Ernakulam on October 5, 1929.
After a disastrous flood in 1924, Fr. Varghese transformed his parish into a centre for the homeless. This experience led him to found a religious congregation of Sisters of the Destitute on 19 March, 1927. The nuns today runs numerous 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 centres for work activities, hospitals, dispensaries, palliative care centres, 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), Foundress of the Congregation of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Agony; born in Lugo di Romagna (Italy) on 6 October 1856 and died there on 7 January 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), Foundress of the Congregation of the Missionary Handmaids of Christ the King; born in Palermo (Italy) on 16 December 1888 and died there on 27 June 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.
The next step for a Venerable would be the beatification for which a miracle through the intercession of the person has to be recognized. Another miracle after beatification would be required to clear him or her for canonization or sainthood.