The Venerable

Last updated
A stained glass image of the Venerable Father Samuel Mazzuchelli in St. Raphael's Cathedral, Dubuque, Iowa. FrMazzuchelli1.JPG
A stained glass image of the Venerable Father Samuel Mazzuchelli in St. Raphael's Cathedral, Dubuque, Iowa.

The Venerable is used as a style or epithet in several Christian churches. It is also the common English-language translation of a number of Buddhist titles, and is used as a word of praise in some cases.

Contents

Christianity

Catholic

In the Catholic Church, after a deceased Catholic has been declared a Servant of God by a bishop and proposed for beatification by the Pope, such a servant of God may next be declared venerable ("heroic in virtue") during the investigation and process leading to possible canonization as a saint. A declaration that a person is venerable, however, is not a pronouncement of their definitely being in Heaven. The pronouncement means it is considered likely that they are in heaven, but it is possible the person could still be undergoing purgation ("purgatory"). Before a person is considered to be venerable, that person must be declared as such by a proclamation, approved by the Pope, of having lived a life that was "heroic in virtue", the virtues being the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity and the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. The next steps are beatification, which normally requires a miracle by the intercession of the candidate, from which point the person is referred to as The Blessed. The blessed declaration very strongly implies the person is in heaven experiencing the beatific vision, but it is not actually infallible. Finally, the canonization process is consummated when the person intercedes in a miracle (normally, this is their second intercession) and the person is declared a saint . Exceptions to this pathway of canonization do exist. [1] The declaration of sainthood is definitive (infallible) only to the extent that the Catholic Church claims the person died in the state of grace and already enjoys beatific vision. [2]

For example, Popes Pius XII and John Paul II were both declared venerable by Pope Benedict XVI in December 2009, and John Paul II was declared a saint in 2014. [3]

Other examples of Venerables are Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, Princess Louise of France, Francis Libermann, and Mother Mary Potter.

The 7th/8th century English monk St Bede was referred to as venerable soon after his death and is still very often called "the Venerable Bede" despite having been canonized in 1899.

This is also the honorific used for hermits of the Carthusian Order, in place of the usual term of "Reverend".

Anglican

In the Anglican Communion, "The Venerable" (abbreviated as "the Ven.") is the style usually given to an archdeacon. [4]

Eastern Orthodoxy

In the Orthodox Church the term "Venerable" is commonly used as the English-language translation of the title given to monastic saints (Greek: Hosios, Church Slavonic: Prepodobni; both Greek and Church Slavonic forms are masculinum).

A monastic saint who was martyred for the Orthodox faith is referred to as "Venerable Martyr".

In the 20th century, some English-language Orthodox sources began to use the term "Venerable" to refer to a righteous person who was a candidate for glorification (canonization), most famously in the case of Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco; however, this has not altered the original usage of this term in reference to monastic saints.

Buddhism

Ven. Galboda Gnanissara Thera. Venerable Galboda Gnanissara Thera.jpg
Ven. Galboda Gnanissara Thera.
Most Venerable Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Thero. Ananda Maitreya ceyloneseThera ca1954.jpg
Most Venerable Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Thero.

In Buddhism, the Western style of Venerable (also abbreviated as Ven.) is given to ordained Buddhist monks and nuns and also to novices (Śrāmaṇeras). The title of Master may be followed[ clarification needed ] for senior members of the Sangha. "Venerable", along with "Reverend" (Rev.) is used as a western alternative to Mahathera in the Theravada branch and Fǎshī (法師) in Chinese Mahayana branch. [5] In Japanese Buddhism, "Reverend" is more commonly used than "Venerable", especially in the Jodo Shinshu sect, but also amongst priests in the Zen and other sects. This has been common practice since the early 20th century.

See also

Related Research Articles

Canonization Act by which churches declare that a person who has died is a saint

Canonization is a papal declaration that the Catholic faithful may venerate a particular deceased member of the church. Popes began making such decrees in the tenth century. Up to that point, the local bishops governed the veneration of holy men and women within their own dioceses; and there may have been, for any particular saint, no formal decree at all. In subsequent centuries, the procedures became increasingly regularized and the popes began restricting to themselves the right to declare someone a Catholic saint. In contemporary usage, the term is understood to refer to the act by which any Christian church declares that a person who has died is a saint, upon which declaration the person is included in the list of recognized saints, called the "canon". Today, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion speak of "canonized" saints, in addition to the Roman Catholic Church.

John Climacus Syrian mystic and abbot

John Climacus, also known as John of the Ladder, John Scholasticus and John Sinaites, was a 6th-7th-century Christian monk at the monastery on Mount Sinai. He is revered as a saint by the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches.

Saint One who has been recognized for having an exceptional degree of holiness, sanctity, and virtue

A saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness or likeness or closeness to God. However, the use of the term "saint" depends on the context and denomination. In Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Oriental Orthodox, and Lutheran doctrine, all of their faithful deceased in Heaven are considered to be saints, but some are considered worthy of greater honor or emulation; official ecclesiastical recognition, and consequently veneration, is given to some saints through the process of canonization in the Catholic Church or glorification in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Beatification Recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a dead persons entrance into heaven

Beatification is a recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a dead person's entrance into Heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his or her name. Beati is the plural form, referring to those who have undergone the process of beatification.

Michael J. McGivney Founder of the Knights of Columbus

Michael Joseph McGivney was an American Catholic priest based in New Haven, Connecticut. He founded the Knights of Columbus at a local parish to serve as a mutual aid and fraternal insurance organization, particularly for immigrants and their families. It developed through the 20th century as the world's largest Catholic fraternal organization.

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.

Servant of God Title used differently in different religion, but denoting piety

"Servant of God" is a term used for individuals by various religions for people believed to be pious in the faith's tradition. In the Catholic Church, it designates an individual who is being investigated by the Church for possible canonization as a saint. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, this term is used to refer to any Eastern Orthodox Christian. The Arabic name Abdullah, the Hebrew name Obadiah (עובדיה), the German name Gottschalk, and the Sanskrit name Devadasa are all variations of "servant of God".

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.

Nimatullah Kassab Lebanese Maronite monk and saint

Saint Nimatullah Kassab O.L.M., also known as "Al-Hardini" in reference to his birth village, was a Lebanese monk, priest and scholar of the Maronite Church. He has been declared a saint by the Catholic Church.

Papal infallibility A dogma of the Catholic Church

Papal infallibility is a dogma of the Catholic Church that states that, in virtue of the promise of Jesus to Peter, the pope when appealing to his highest authority is preserved from the possibility of error on doctrine "initially given to the apostolic Church and handed down in Scripture and tradition". This doctrine was defined dogmatically at the First Vatican Council of 1869–1870 in the document Pastor aeternus, but had been defended before that, existing already in medieval theology and being the majority opinion at the time of the Counter-Reformation.

The canonization process of Pope Pius XII dates to shortly after his death in 1958. He was declared a Servant of God in 1990 and Venerable in 2009. Father Peter Gumpel is currently the relator of Pius XII's cause for canonization.

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.

Beatification of Pope Paul VI

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.

Nicola Saggio Italian Minim

Nicola Saggio was an Italian Roman Catholic professed oblate of the Order of Minims.

Venerable Francesco Antonio Marcucci was a Roman Catholic Italian bishop and a member of the Secular Franciscan Order. Marcucci was also the founder of the Pious Workers of Mary Immaculate.

María de la Purísima Salvat Romero Spanish religious (1926-1998)

Saint María de la Purísima Salvat Romero, born María Isabel Salvat Romero, was a Spanish Roman Catholic nun and a member of the Sisters of the Company of the Cross. She assumed the name of "María de la Purísima of the Cross" after she entered that order. Romero was the successor of Saint Angela of the Cross of the latter's congregation and was known for her firmness in the progress of the order and in their role as servants of God and His people. Romero was known in her order for her strong commitment to uphold the magisterium of the Church.

Rosa Elena Cornejo Pazmiño was an Ecuadorian Roman Catholic nun who took the name of María Francisca of the Wounds after she became a nun. She established the Franciscan Missionaries of the Immaculata.

References

  1. Heffron, Christopher. "Ask A Franciscan: What Is 'Equivalent Canonization'?" . Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  2. "Catholic Encyclopedia - Infallibility" . Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  3. "Report: Pope Francis Says John Paul II to Be Canonized April 27". National Catholic Register. 3 September 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  4. "List of Abbreviations", Crockford's Clerical Directory website.
  5. Titles of the Monks and Nuns of the Western Buddhist Monastic Gathering