Bishops add two new memorials to U.S. calendar


The U.S. bishops approved adding optional memorials for Blessed Pope John Paul II and Blessed Marianne Cope to the U.S. Proper of Saints calendar.

The memorials were discussed and approved on Nov. 15 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops during their fall General Assembly, which was held in Baltimore.

By a vote of 154-2, the bishops approved placing a memorial for Bl. John Paul II on the calendar for Oct. 22, the anniversary of his election as Pope in 1978.

At the time of his death on April 2, 2005, devotion to Pope John Paul II was already widespread and cries of “Santo Subito!” (Saint Now!) were heard in St. Peter’s Square following his passing.

He was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI before a crowd of over one million people on May 1, 2011 in front of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Beatified individuals are not typically inscribed on the Church’s Universal Calendar. However, local authorities can suggest the addition of the observance of a beatified individual on a diocesan, religious or national calendar.

Blessed Mother Marianne Cope, OSF, spent her life caring for leprosy patients in Hawaii. She was beatified in May 2005.

Bl. Marianne Cope’s feast day was previously observed as an Optional Memorial on Jan. 23 in the Diocese of Syracuse, where she entered the Sisters of Saint Francis, and in the Diocese of Honolulu, where she served the sick for many years.

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  1. I wonder who the two bishops who voted against it are. I guess there are always contrarians in every crowd.

  2. Bruce Tereski says:

    The bishops may have hit the wrong button by accident in voting.

    Meanwhile, why not the nearest day of Bl. Marianne’s vows rather than her birthday which flies in the face of tradition? Mark my words, some priests will think it cure to sing Happy Birthday at Mass on that day.

    One of the big mistakes with the liturgical reform was forbidding the commemoration of more than one saint on a day. According to the old way, there could be up to 3 openning collects on one day. Thus, one could honor three of the saints who in God’s providence died on that day.

  3. Henry Karlson says:

    Well, there might be reasons, good reasons, such as – time when the memorial is being suggested — few have memorials which don’t fall on the day of their death.

  4. Deacon Norb says:

    There is also a very subtle but very important facet of all this. We are now commemorating saints that were contemporaries of ours or our parents or even our grandparents.

    I really connect well with Saint Maxmillian Kolbe; my Polish grandmother was not only from his cultural milieu but also was born very close to the same year St. Max was. Besides, I have visited Auschwitz and prayed at his death cell. He is very real to me although he died very close to the time I was born.

    I also connect well with Saint Gianna Beretta Molla. She not only was born the same year that my own mother, she was a professional women in her own right with a career outside of the home; and her husband was often on the road as an industrial engineer for some of Italy’s largest manufacturing facilities. I can really connect with the idea that saintly parents can both have careers and still raise strong families.

    It is nice that we know something about saints of long ago, but having one you have seen with your own eyes — and I did come very close contact with Blessed John Paul II on at least one occasion — can bring home a sense that there are living saints all around us.

  5. Fiergenholt says:

    Deacon Norb said:
    “can bring home a sense that there are living saints all around us”

    Seems to me this week-end — the Feast of Christ the King in the Latin Rite — would be an excellent excuse for the deacons and priests among the blog commentators here to use the Gospel passage “Then the righteous will answer him . . .” and talk about the “living saints all around us.”

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