- Published: Saturday, 26 April 2014 07:53
DECREE OF THE CONGREGATION FOR THE CAUSES OF SAINTS
From the MSC Postulator for Causes, Jean-Claude Chassem MSC. The declaration, the prayer and information about the requirements for miracles,
On Tuesday, April 15, 2014, the Holy Father Francis received in private audience His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Amato, SDB, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and authorized the promulgation of the Decree on the recognition of the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Alain Guynot de Boismenu of the Congregation of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Apostolic Vicar of New Guinea, founder of the Handmaids of the Lord, who died on November 5, 1953 at Kubuna.
This Decree by the Church now assignes to the Servant of God Alain Guynot de Boismenu the title "Venerable". Now all that is needed is the recognition of a miracle attributed to the intercession of Venerable Alain Guynot de Boismenu for the Church to proclaim him "Blessed". Our duty is to continue to pray that the Lord give us grace through his intercession.
P. Jean Jules Chassem,
Prayer for graces through the intercession of the Servant of God
Bishop Alain GUYNOT DE BOISMENU
We praise you, Lord, for the life of Alain de Boismenu,spent in the service of your Gospel
and of the people of Papua New Guinea.
We thank you, Lord, for his simple, deep faith, lived in each moment of everyday life;
for his trusting abandonment to your will; for the gentleness of his welcome to all in need,
and for his wisdom and courage in serving them.
We ask you, Lord, for your greater glory, to glorify on earth,
through his canonization, this apostle of your merciful love. Through his example and intercession,
may your Holy Spirit unite us ever more intimately with you in the Heart of your Son,
so that through us also your love may transform the world.
We make this prayer through Christ Our Lord.
MIRACLES in the CAUSES of the SAINTS
In addition to the universal call to holiness which we have all received, there is a "canonizable" holiness by which the Church gives thanks to God for the gift of her members who have been able to respond generously to God's grace, by honoring them and invoking them as our intercessors. According to ecclesial practice, this holiness is recognized in two stages: beatification and canonization. The conditions that are essential for such a cause are: reputation of holiness, heroic practice of the virtues and the attribution of a miracle to the intercession of the future saint or the future Blessed. In this article I would like to speak of this last condition, that of a miracle.
Just as the miracles reported in the Gospels invite us to recognize in the person of Jesus of Nazareth the Messiah of God and the power of the Son of God, the miracles in the causes of the Saints assure us that the Servant of God is in heaven in communion with God. In this way they provide a divine confirmation of the judgment made by Church authority on the virtuous life of the person in question.
It is important to add that the miracle required in the cause of the saints is a miracle post mortem. In addition it is not just a question of any miracle. Normally it should be a miracle of physical healing which is instantaneous, total, lasting and without a relapse obtained through the intercession of the Servant of God.
In his book entitled On the Beatification of the Servants of God and the Canonization of the Blessed, Cardinal Prospero Lambertini (later Benedict XIV) defines and formalizes the norms that concern the recognition of miracles, namely:
• The diagnosis should refer to a pathological condition which is serious and incurable. Only physical (and not psychological or neurological) sickness is considered.
• The prognosis is without hope: the sick person is on the point of death.
• The healing should not be attributed to medication or to any therapy. The healing is due to the insistent prayer of the sick person or to the indirect request (for example: a novena of prayer by the relatives of the sick person or by a community) through the intercession of the Servant of God or the Blessed.
• Proof of healing. In recognizing the healing, the doctors should be as precise as possible as to the circumstances, especially to its instantaneousness. They must be convinced that the healing is total, lasting and without any relapse.
While it is the domain of the doctors to pronounce themselves on the inexplicable character of the healing, it is up to the Church to declare it a miracle. In the concrete, the miracle is not recognized as such except through a decree of the Holy Father following an evaluation of the marvelous deed similar to that of the heroic virtues and the reputation of holiness in two stages: a diocesan stage in which a tribunal set up by the bishop of the place where the marvelous deed took place and a Roman phase at the Congregation for the Cause of the Saints.
Jean Jules CHASSEM, msc