Thursday, July 13, 2017


Tapestry of  Saints- Cathedral in Los Angeles

Yesterday on the feast of St. Benedict, the Holy Father decreed that ‘offering of life’ is path to sainthood. 

Pope Francis has issued an apostolic letter decreeing that the oblatio vitae—the “offering of life”—has joined martyrdom and the heroic exercise of the virtues as a recognized path to beatification and canonization in the Church. Ah ha I said: one more way to become a saint, but alas it seems no easier than martyrdom!

The title of the apostolic letter, Maiorem hac dilectionem (“Greater love than this”), is a reference to Christ’s words in St. John’s Gospel (“Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,” 15:13).

The faithful who “have voluntarily and freely offered their lives for others and have persevered until death in this intention are worthy of special esteem and honor,” the Pope wrote in his motu proprio.

The Pope wrote that five conditions must be met for a Servant of God’s beatification under this category:

Br. Mickey McGrath
“the free and voluntary offering of one’s life and the heroic acceptance, on account of charity, of a certain and near death”

a link between the offering of life and a premature death

at least an ordinary exercise of the Christian virtues before and after the offering of life

the existence, after death, of a reputation of sanctity and of (potentially miraculous) signs

a miracle obtained through the Servant of God’s intercession

The Pope’s letter follows a September 2016 meeting of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, whose members offered a favorable opinion on the question of whether the offering of life should become a new official path to beatification.

Still a lot of work to become a saint!

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