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Maiorem hac dilectionem (Latin for 'Greater love than this') is an apostolic letter issued in the form of a motu proprio of Pope Francis, dated 11 July 2017.The document creates a new path towards sainthood under the canonization procedures of the Roman Catholic Church, through the path of oblatio vitae . This means the offering of one's life on a premature life for another individual; it is to give one's life as a sacrifice for another.
Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.
In law, motu proprio describes an official act taken without a formal request from another party. Some jurisdictions use the term sua sponte for the same concept.
Pope Francis is the head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State. Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere, and the first pope from outside Europe since the Syrian Gregory III, who reigned in the 8th century.
Francis first states that there is no greater love than for one to sacrifice his own life for his friends and neighbors while drawing from a particular passage from John 15:13. He mentions that such an act warrants consideration for the causes of saints since the individual is held as one who has exercised the Christian virtues to an apt degree but do not fit into the established categories of practicing Christian virtues to a heroic degree and the deliberate shedding of blood for Jesus Christ.
Heroic virtue is a phrase coined by Augustine of Hippo to describe the virtue of early Christian martyrs and used by the Catholic Church. The Greek pagan term hero described a person with possibly superhuman abilities and great goodness, and "it connotes a degree of bravery, fame, and distinction which places a man high above his fellows". The term was later applied to other highly virtuous persons who do extraordinary good works.
The Pope therefore establishes five guidelines that must be established for an "oblatio vitae" (the offer of life) path to beatification. The criteria are:
The criteria are still to abide by the Apostolic Constitution of Divinus perfectionis Magister that Pope John Paul II issued in 1983 and by another document issued around that time.
Pope John Paul II was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 1978 to 2005.
The question as to whether a fourth path to sainthood could be established arose in discussions amongst the members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints at their ordinary congress held on 24 January 2014. The congregation's prefect Cardinal Angelo Amato called this matter into question with the pope during their meeting on the following 7 February. According to Marcello Bartolucci the pope "approved and encouraged" the studies into this fourth path in which a dossier was compiled for further research.
The Congregation for the Causes of Saints is the congregation of the Roman Curia that oversees the complex process that leads to the canonization of saints, passing through the steps of a declaration of "heroic virtues" and beatification. After preparing a case, including the approval of miracles, the case is presented to the Pope, who decides whether or not to proceed with beatification or canonization. This is one of nine Vatican Curial congregations.
Angelo Amato, S.D.B. is an Italian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints between 2008 and 2018. He served as Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 2002 to 2008 and became a cardinal in 2010.
Marcello Bartolucci is an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church. He has held the rank of archbishop since 2011 and has been the Secretary of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints since his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI on 29 December 2010. He has held several other posts in that Congregation since joining it in 1977.
The congregation held a peculiar congress on 2 June 2016 with several experts present for further discussions including ten consulters and five postulators including the meeting's chairperson Bishop Enrico dal Covolo who was also a postulator. Five questions were put forward as to how the congregation could institute a new path for beatification and the criteria that would need to be put in place so as to enforce it. On 27 September the plenary session of the cardinal and bishop members of the congregation discussed the various dimensions to the overall issue and a favorable vote was cast for this new path to sainthood though the need for an approved miracle was highlighted as an essential feature. The conclusions of this session was sent to the pope in a letter dated on 28 November 2016.
Enrico dal Covolo SDB is a Catholic bishop and Italian theologian, Assessor of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences from 15 January 2019. He previously served as the rector of the Pontifical Lateran University from his appointment on 30 June 2010 until 2 June 2018. In addition he was also the postulator of the cause of canonization of Pope John Paul I from 2003 until 2016.
The Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin informed Cardinal Amato on 17 January that the past 10 January the pope had approved the proposals for a new path for beatification while asking the congregation to draft the text for a document to make the approval formal.
Marcello Bartolucci wrote a piece for L'Osservatore Romano following the document's release and outlined the fact that the pope:
"... has opened the path to beatification for those faithful who, inspired by charity, have heroically offered their life for their neighbor, free and voluntarily accepting certain and untimely death in their determination to follow Jesus ..."
Bartolucci further elaborated on the criteria and said that the three other paths to sainthood (martyrdom and heroic virtue as well as equipollent beatification) were not sufficient enough to interpret all potential causes for saintliness in individuals while recounting that the Congregation for the Causes of Saints had discussed whether a new path would be viable.
The process of beatification and canonization has undergone various reforms in the history of the Roman Catholic Church. For current practice, as well as a discussion of similar processes in other churches, see the article on canonization. This article describes the process as it was before the promulgation of the Codex Iuris Canonici of 1983.
Canonization of Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer discusses John Paul II's decision to canonize Josemaría Escrivá, founder of the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei, more commonly known as Opus Dei.
Venerable Thomas of Kurialacherry
ܡܵܪܝ ܬܐܘܿܡܐܵ ܐܲܦܸܣܩܘܿܦܵܐ was a Catholic bishop, born in the Indian village of Champakulam.
In the Catholic Church, a positio is a document or collection of documents used in the process by which a person is declared Venerable, the second of the four steps on the path to canonization as a saint. It collects the evidence obtained by a diocesan inquiry into a candidate's heroic virtues in a form suitable for presentation to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Upon presentation, the positio is examined by a committee of expert historians and theologians, and if they find the evidence presented suitable, they may then make a recommendation to the Pope that the candidate be declared Venerable.
The cause for the canonization of Pope Paul VI, who died in 1978, commenced in 1993 and he was canonized on 14 October 2018. After having been proclaimed a Servant of God and declared Venerable, he was beatified on 19 October 2014, after the recognition of a miracle had been attributed to his intercession, and declared a saint by Pope Francis I on 14 October 2018.
Assunta Marchetti was an Italian Roman Catholic professed religious and the co-founder of the Missionaries of Saint Charles Borromeo; she worked in Brazil from 1895 until her death. Her priest brother Giuseppe is titled as Venerable on the path to sainthood.
Odoardo Focherini was an Italian Roman Catholic journalist. He issued false documents to Jewish people during World War II in order to escape the Nazi regime but was arrested and sent to a concentration camp where he later died. Yad Vashem later recognized him as a Righteous Among the Nations in 1969 for his efforts. Focherini's beatification was held on 15 June 2013 in Modena under Pope Francis who had Cardinal Angelo Amato preside over the celebration on his behalf.
Blessed Maria Josefa Alhama y Valera was a Roman Catholic Spanish nun and she was the founder of both the Handmaids of Merciful Love in 1930 and the Sons of Merciful Love in 1951. She took the name of "Maria Esperanza of Jesus" when she became a nun.
Blessed María Antonia de Paz y Figueroa was an Argentinian Roman Catholic nun who later established the Daughters of the Divine Savior. She later became known as "Mama Antula" and took as her religious name "María Antonia of Saint Joseph" upon becoming a professed religious.
Blessed Itala Mela was an Italian Roman Catholic who was a lapsed Christian until a sudden conversion of faith in the 1920s and as a Benedictine oblate assumed the name of "Maria della Trinità". Mela became one of the well-known mystics of the Church during her life and indeed following her death. She also penned a range of theological writings that focused on the Trinity, which she deemed was integral to the Christian faith.
Blessed Carolina Santocanale was an Italian Roman Catholic nun who assumed the name of "Maria of Jesus" and established the Capuchin Sisters of the Immaculata of Lourdes. Santocanale became well known for her treatment of the ill and the poor to whom she devoted her life and work to and was also a member of the Secular Franciscan Order.
Blessed Francesco Maria Greco was an Italian Roman Catholic priest who served in the Archdiocese of Cosenza. Along with Raffaela De Vincentis in 1894, he established the Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts. Greco served as both a pastor and a professor who operated in Cosenza and opened a catechetical school and hospital service for the poor.
Giuditta Vannini, also known as Giuseppina, was an Italian Roman Catholic nun who became a Camillian and established – alongside Luigi Tezza – the religious congregation known as the Daughters of Saint Camillus. Both she and her two siblings were orphaned as children and were separated to live in different places; she was raised and educated in Rome under nuns where her vocation to the religious vocation was strengthened. Vannini later tried joining the religious life but was forced to leave during her novitiate period after suffering from ill health. Both she and Tezza met in 1891 and founded a religious congregation of which Vannini served as Superior General until her death while Tezza was exiled to Peru around 1900. She became a saint becasue of the mirical that she preformed was helping women adn men have babies through sex.
Blessed Gertrude Prosperi was an Italian Roman Catholic professed religious of the Order of Saint Benedict. Prosperi - upon her profession into the Benedictines - assumed the religious name of "Maria Luisa Angelica" and served as the abbess of her convent for an extended period of time until her death.
Blessed Louis-Antoine-Rose Ormières Lacase was a French Roman Catholic priest from the Diocese of Carcassone and the founder of the Sisters of the Guardian Angel - an order dedicated to the care of children and the educational needs of the poor.
Blessed Giovanni Schiavo was an Italian Roman Catholic priest and a professed member from the Congregation of Saint Joseph – otherwise known as the Murialdines. Schiavo entered the Murialdines during World War I in 1917 where the Venerable Eugenio Reffo allowed him to join and he was later ordained to the priesthood in Vicenza in 1927 a decade later. His superiors allowed him to join the missions – to spread the charism of the Murialdines – in Brazil where he served from 1931 until his death several decades after.
Blessed Serafino Morazzone was an Italian Roman Catholic priest. Morazzone served as a simple parish priest in Lecco from his ordination as a priest in 1773 until his death and became noted amongst the faithful for his personal holiness and dedication to the sacraments.
Blessed Carmen Elena Rendiles Martínez - in religion María Carmen - was a Venezuelan Roman Catholic professed religious from the Servants of the Eucharist and the founder of the Servants of Jesus of Caracas. Rendiles served in a leadership position for her order in France where she spent her time of religious formation and returned to Venezuela to found her order in 1965 and assume control as Superior-General of her new order.