As of yesterday, there is officially a 4th pathway to possible sainthood. In a new apostolic letter issued in Rome yesterday, the Pope approved new norms, allowing for candidates to now be considered for sainthood because of the heroic way they freely risked their lives and died, as a result of an extreme act of charity.
Before this, there were only 3 recognized ways a person could be declared a saint: 1) martyrdom, 2) living the virtues of Christian life to a heroic degree, and 3) exceptional cases, based on the confirmation of an ancient tradition of veneration of the saintliness of a person, as in the case of Jesuit St. Peter Faber.
Now, freely giving one's life in a heroic act of loving service to others, can officially lead to sainthood. In the introduction of the apostolic letter that introduced this, Pope Francis opened with the words of Jesus: “No one has greater love than this: to lay down one's life for one’s friends”. The Pope goes on to say that those Christians are worthy of special consideration who, following in the footsteps and teaching of Jesus, have offered their life voluntarily and freely for others and have persevered in this, to death.”
And speaking of sainthood, it appears that when the Pope goes to Colombia this September, he will leave that country with two of their own men, closer to sainthood.
The Vatican confirmed last week that Pope Francis will beatify Bishop Jesus Emilio Jaramilo Monsalve and Father Pedro Ramirez-Ramos at a Mass at Catama field on Sept. 8th. Bishop Jaramilo, was kidnapped, then killed by members of the National Liberation Army because of his criticism of the rebel group's violent actions. His body was later found by local peasants near the Venezuelan border in 1989. The pope also recognized the martyrdom of Father Ramirez who was killed at the start of the Colombian civil war in 1948.
Last week, more than 2,000 people converged into Orlando, Florida for the 12th National Black Catholic Congress where speakers addressed a variety of topics and concerns facing the black communities, urging those present to take an active role in living out the Gospel. This report now from CNS below:
The Black Catholic Congress started in 1889 with journalist, Daniel Rudd, who brought together 100 black Catholic men to discuss questions affecting their race across the country, and to unite for a course of action, while standing behind the Catholic Church and its values.
And finally, I leave you with this beautiful example of what the Pope has been teaching since the beginning of his papacy: That a simple act of Mercy can change the world. CNN reported a story that’s gone viral about a man who enters a Bangkok police station with a knife with the intention of doing harm, but instead of shooting the man, the Police officer does something unexpected and proves that Mercy can truly change the course of a man’s life.
That's it for today! Join me again tomorrow when I bring you news and stories from the Perspective of a Catholic lens.
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