06 February 2018
Christopher Lamb in Rome
Miracle is approved, paving way for Pope Paul VI to be declared saint
The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has agreed that healing of unborn child was down to the intercession of Paul VI
A miracle attributed to Paul VI has been approved by the Vatican, paving the way for the former Pope to be declared a saint later this year.
According to La Stampa, members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints agreed that the healing of an unborn child was down to the intercession of Paul VI.
It was a few days after his beatification ceremony on 19 October 2014 that a pregnant woman – who was at risk of having a miscarriage – prayed for the former Pope to intercede at a sanctuary in his home town of Brescia. The baby was later born in good health.
The decision by the congregation's cardinals and bishops comes after an examination of the proposed miracle by medical experts commissioned by the Vatican. The final step is for Pope Francis to ratify the latest decision and announce a date for canonisation.
According to the Diocese of Brescia’s weekly magazine the canonisation is likely to take place at some point in October, meaning it would take place during the 50th anniversary year of Paul VI’s controversial encyclical re-affirming Church opposition to artificial methods of birth control.
“Humanae Vitae”, which was publicly released on 29 July 1968, sparked huge debate in the Church. The document went against the advice of a consultative commission which argued married couples be given permission to use some forms of contraception.
While many associate Pope Paul with that encyclical, his papacy is widely credited with overseeing the completion of the 1962-65 Second Vatican Council, which set the blueprint for contemporary Catholicism and implementing important reforms to the Vatican.
It was also Paul VI who shepherded in the modern papacy. As the first Pope to travel outside of Italy, he placed great emphasis on the Church being in dialogue with the world and ensured that the Vatican Museums built up what is now an impressive collection of contemporary art.
Born Giovanni Battista Montini in 1897, he worked in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State for many years before being appointed Archbishop of Milan in 1954. He was elected Pope in 1963 and died in 1978.
Pic: Pope Paul VI makes a special appeal for world peace in 1965 at United Nations headquarters in New York. Following in the footsteps of Pope Pius XII, every pope in the "nuclear age" has pleaded with the world's powers to lessen the threat of nuclear war and reduce nuclear arsenals.(CNS photo/Yutaka Nagata, U.N.)
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