Posted on Thu, Oct 9, 2014
October 19, 2014 at the Vatican
The Beatification of Pope Paul VI - October 19, 2014
The cause for the beatification and eventual canonization of Pope Paul VI - who died in 1978 - commenced in 1993 and still continues. He has been proclaimed a Servant of God and has been declared Venerable. He will be beatified on 19 October 2014 after the recognition of a miracle had been attributed to his intercession.
On 18 March 1993 a nihil obstat was declared under Pope John Paul II which opened the cause for beatification. The diocesan process commenced on 11 May 1993 in Rome and thus, he was granted the title of Servant of God. The postulator assigned to the cause was Father Antonio Marrazzo. The diocesan process concluded its business on 18 March 1998. Father Luigi Villa, playing the part of the devil's advocate, released a book titled Paul VI: Beatified? which was written in opposition to the cause of beatification.
The Positio - documents and other information gathered from the diocesan process - was forwarded to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in 2011. Theological consulters and the members of the congregation collaborated on the resources gathered from the previous process and unanimously agreed that the late pope had lived a life of heroic virtue. They forwarded their vote to Pope Benedict XVI who, on 20 December 2012, signed the decree in recognition of his heroic virtues. This meant that he was titled Venerable.
In 2003 an alleged miracle attributed to his intercession had been discovered in the United States. The case involved an fetus in the mother's womb which suffered brain defects that would affect the child. The doctor advised the mother to have an abortion but the mother refused to do so and requested the intercession of the late pope at the behest of a nun who gave her a card with a piece of the late pope's cassock on it. When the child was born there were no defects that could be detected and the child's health was monitored until it became an adolescent. The child in question still shows no signs of defects.
In an audience on 9 May 2014 Pope Francis approved the decree of recognition of the miracle attributed to the late pope, and set the date of the beatification at the Vatican for 19 October 2014.
The beatification for Paul VI has been scheduled for 19 October 2014 at the Vatican. He will be known as "Blessed" from this point on. The next step would be the recognition of another miracle which would result in canonization.