A cupola fresco of Christ the King. A cupola fresco of Christ the King. 

Pope brings 14 men and women a step closer to sainthood

Pope Francis on Tuesday authorized the promulgation of 8 new decrees that gave the Church 9 new Blesseds and 5 Venerables.

By Robin Gomes

Pope Francis on Tuesday took 14 men and women a step closer to sainthood, among them an Italian missionary martyred in Myanmar and 7 bishops killed for their faith in Romania. 

The Pope received Cardinal Angelo Becciu, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and authorized the promulgation of 8 new decrees, recognizing the heroic virtues of 4 Italian nuns and an Italian priest, a miracle attributed to the intercession of a Spanish nun and the martyrdom of 8 men.

9 Blesseds

A decree recognized a miracle through the intercession of Spanish nun Sister Maria Emilia Riquelme y Zayas, foundress of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and of the Blessed Virgin Mary Immaculate.  She was born in Granada (Spain) on August 5, 1847 and died there on December 10, 1940.

A decree recognized the martyrdom of 7 Romanian bishops who killed under the country’s Communist regime between 1950 and 1970.  They are Valeriu Traian Frenţiu, Vasile Aftenie, Ioan Suciu, Tit Liviu Chinezu, Ioan Bălan, Alessandru Rusu and Iuliu Hossu.

A separate decree recognized the martyrdom of Italian PIME missionary Father Alfredo Cremonesi.  He was born on May 16, 1902, and killed in the village of Donoku , Myanmar, on February 7, 1953. 

Following the withdrawal of Japanese troops at the end of World War II from what was then called Burma, Fr. Cremonesi became a victim of the conflict between government troops and the Karen rebels.  He and his Christians were suspected of backing the rebels.  Fr. Cremonesi tried to convince the government forces they were neither rebels nor their sympathizers.  But before he could finish explaining, he and the village chief were gunned down. Fr. Cremonesi was immediately invoked as a "martyr" for giving his life for his flock.  

5 Venerable Servants of God

Five other decrees recognized the heroic virtues of the following:

Italian diocesan priest Father Francesco Maria Di Francia, founder of the Congregation of the Capuchin Sisters of the Sacred Heart.  He was born in Messina on February 19, 1853, and died in Roccalumera (Italy) on December 22, 1913.

Italian nun Sister Maria Hueber, foundress of the Congregation of the Tertiary Sisters of St. Francis.  She was born in Bressanone (Italy today) on May 22, 1653, and died there on July 31, 1705.

Italian nun Sister Maria Teresa Camera, foundress of the Congregation of the Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy.  She was born in Ovada (Italy) on October 8, 1818, and died there on March 24, 1894.

Italian nun Sister Maria Teresa Gabrieli, co-foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Poor Women - Palazzolo Institute.  She was born in Bergamo (Italy) on September 13, 1837, and died there on February 6, 1908.

Italian nun Sister Giovanna Francesca dello Spirito Santo (born Luisa Ferrari), foundress of the Institute of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Incarnate Word; born in Reggio Emilia (Italy) on September 14, 1888, and died in Fiesole (Italy) on December 21, 1984.  

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19 March 2019, 16:37