Yesterday, Our Most Holy Lord Benedict XVI, now gloriously reigning, was pleased to approve a large number of recognitions of miracles at the intercession of candidates for canonization, as also the recognition of the martyrdom of a priest, and likewise to recognize the heroic virtue of divers Servants of God. Among these, the following are of particular interest:
- a miracle worked by Bl Mary MacKillop - thus she will be canonized as Australia's first saint in the new year;
- the martyrdom in 1984 of a Polish priest, George (Jerzy) Popiełuszko, murdered out of hatred of the Faith in a notorious case during the repression of the Solidarity movement in Poland prior to the final collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe and the old Soviet Union - so he will be soon canonized forthwith as a holy martyr;
- the heroic virtues of Popes Pius XII and John Paul II, meaning that both are now Venerable;
- the heroic virtue of Mary Ward, foundress of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (the English Ladies, Loreto Sisters or Jesuitesses), and brave confessor of the Catholic Faith in Protestant, persecuting England - meaning that her cause is at last progressing after so many holdups since her holy death in 1645: she too will be styled Venerable.
Et alibi aliorum plurimorum sanctorum Martyrum et Confessorum, atque sanctarum Virginum. R/. Deo gratias.