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Possible Beatification of the Servant of God Pope Paul VI

Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB

May 7, 2014
CNS/Giancarlo Giuliani, Catholic Press Photo
Upon receiving dozens of requests yesterday for confirmation of the details about Pope Paul VI's imminent beatification, at the conclusion of October's Synod of Bishops, it is important to remember that before speaking or writing authoritatively of approval of a miracle or an established date for the ceremony, the Congregation of Saints must meet, approve the findings of a miracle and then the Prefect of the Congregation would present them to Pope Francis for his final approval and signature.  This has not yet been done.  Therefore it is best to wait for the decree before announcing and writing about the date of his beatification.
In the meantime, numerous individuals and news agencies asked me to provide a   It may be helpful to you.
The Servant of God Pope Paul VI (1963-1978)
Pope Paul VI was born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini on September 26th 1897. He was the Pope from June 21st 1963 to his death on the 6th of August 1978. Cardinal Montini, upon his election to the papacy, took the name Paul VI to indicate a renewed worldwide mission to spread the message of Christ. He re-convoked the Second Vatican Council, which was automatically suspended with the death of John XXIII, and gave it priority and direction. In his first Papal address he committed himself to a continuation of the work begun by John XXIII with the opening of the Second Vatican Council. On September 14th 1965 he announced the establishment of the Synod of Bishops called for by the Council fathers. He was one of the most traveled popes in history and the first to visit five continents.
Before his pontificate Montini served in the Vatican's Secretariat of State from 1922 to 1954. During World War II Montini was responsible for organizing the extensive relief work and the care of political refugees.
In 1954, Pius XII named him Archbishop of Milan, the largest Italian diocese. Montini took possession of his new see on January 5th 1955 and soon made himself known as the "archbishop of the workers." He revitalized the entire diocese, preached the social message of the Gospel, worked to win back the laboring class, promoted Catholic education at every level, and supported the Catholic press. His impact upon the city at this time was so great that it attracted world-wide attention. At Pope John's first consistory Archbishop Montini was one of 23 prelates raised to the cardinalate. His response to the call for a Council was immediate and even before it met he was identified as a strong advocate of collegiality.
To those who knew him best, Paul VI was described as a brilliant man, deeply spiritual, humble, reserved and gentle, a man of "infinite courtesy."  He is noted for his rigorous reform of the Roman curia, his well-received address to the UN in 1965, his encyclical Populorum progressio (1967), his second great social letter Octogesima adveniens (1971)—the first to show an awareness of many problems that have only recently been brought to light—and his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, his last major pronouncement which also touched on the central question of the just conception of liberation and salvation.
Paul VI sought dialogue with the world, with other Christians, other religions, and atheists. He saw himself as a humble servant and demanded significant changes in favor of the poor. After a period of ill health Paul VI died on August 6th 1978. In 1993 the cause for Paul VI’s canonization was started and as of December 2013, Vatican officials stated that a miracle attributed to the intercession of Paul VI was "medically unexplainable” and once confirmed, Venerable Paul VI would be called “Blessed”.
If in fact Pope Paul VI is proclaimed Blessed in the near future, he would become the tenth Roman Pontiff who has the title “Blessed”.  At present the others are:
1. Blessed Victor III
2. Blessed Urban II
3. Blessed Eugene III
4. Blessed Gregory X
5. Blessed Innocent V
6. Blessed Benedict XI
7. Blessed Urban V
8. Blessed Innocent XI
9. Blessed Pius IX