#ShortNews: Oklahoma priest recognized as first US martyr

In a December 1 audience with the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Pope Francis approved the publication of decrees that advance a dozen sainthood causes. Among them was a decree recognizing the first US citizen to be honored as a martyr.

In approving a decree on a miracle attributed to the intercession of Ven. Giovanni Schiavo (1903-67), an Italian priest of the Congregation of St. Joseph who ministered in Brazil, the Pontiff has paved the way for his beatification.

Pope Francis also approved three decrees of martyrdom, preparing the way for the beatification of

  • Father Vicente Queralt Lloret, a Vincentian priest, and 20 companions who were killed during the Spanish Civil War in 1936 and 1937
  • Archbishop Teofilius Matulionis (1873-1962) of Kaisiadorys, Lithuania, who was murdered by Soviet security officials
  • Father Stanley Rother (1935-81), a priest of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City who was slain while serving as a missionary in Guatemala

Finally, Pope Francis approved decrees on the heroic virtues of eight servants of God, who may now be honored with the title “venerable”:

  • Cardinal Guglielmo Massaia, OFM Cap (1809-89), an Italian missionary in Ethiopia
  • Father Nunzio Russo (1841-1906), an Italian diocesan priest who founded the Daughters of the Cross
  • Father José Bau Burguet (1867-1932), a Spanish parish priest who helped found the Valencian Apostolic Union
  • Father Mario Ciceri (1900-45), an Italian diocesan priest
  • Mother Mary Joseph (Suzanne) Aubert (1835-1926), the French-born foundress of the Daughters of Our Lady of Compassion, who served for most of her life in New Zealand
  • Luz Casanova (1873-1949), the Spanish foundress of the Apostolic Ladies of the Sacred Heart
  • Mother Catherine Aurelia of the Precious Blood (Aurelia Caouette, 1833-1905), the Quebec-born foundress of the Sisters Adorers of the Precious Blood
  • Sister Leonia Nastal (1903-40), a Polish religious of the Little Servants of Mary Immaculate


#ShortNews: Papal thanks for Piarists’ work in educating the poor

Pope Francis has sent a message to the Piarist Fathers, who are celebrating the 400th anniversary of their founding, thanking them for their dedication to providing free education for poor families.

The Pontiff said:

Today more than ever we need an evangelizing pedagogy capable of changing the heart and reality in harmony with the Kingdom of God, making people protagonists and participants in the process. Christian education, especially among the poorest and where the Good News has little place or touches life marginally, is a privileged means to achieve this goal.

The Piarist order, founded by St. Joseph Calasantius, is celebrating a Jubilee Year, which began November 27 and will conclude next November 25.


#ShortNews: Pope Francis’ prayer intentions for December

The Vatican has made public the prayer intentions of Pope Francis for December 2016.

The Pope’s universal is: “That the scandal of child soldiers may be eliminated the world over.”

His intention for evangelization is: “That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life.”