Coptic church formally recognizes martyrdom of 21 slain by ISIS

The stunning icon here depicts the martyrs and was created by Egyptian American artist Tony Rezk. It appears on the website for the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Los Angeles.  From Vatican Radio:  The Coptic Orthodox Church has announced that the murder of the 21 Egyptian Christians killed by the so-called Islamic State in Libya will be [Read More...]

California senator wants to replace U.S. Capitol’s statue of Junipero Serra with Sally Ride

From The Los Angeles Times:  A California state senator is proposing to place a statue of pioneering astronaut Sally Ride in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall, which would make Ride the first woman to represent California and the first known gay person to be included in the collection. The statue, if approved and commissioned, would [Read More...]

With Benedict’s blessing, a “Blessed Oscar Romero”

View image | Simcha has the scoop:  According to the AP (bold type is my addition): The monsignor who spearheaded the saint-making process for El Salvador’s slain Archbishop Oscar Romero said Wednesday it was Pope Benedict XVI— and not Pope Francis — who removed the final hurdle in the tortured, 35-year process. Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia told reporters [Read More...]

It’s official: Pope Francis formally recognizes martyrdom of Oscar Romero

From CNS:   After decades of debate within the church, Pope Francis formally recognized that Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero was killed “in hatred of the faith” and not for purely political reasons.Pope Francis signed the decree Feb. 3, recognizing as martyrdom the March 24, 1980, assassination of Archbishop Romero in a San Salvador hospital chapel as [Read More...]

St. Matthew’s wife? — UPDATED

“The Calling of St. Matthew” by Caravaggio (1599-1600) via Wikipedia My friend Fr. Scott Hurd in Washington spotted this reference in one of Pope Francis’s talks in Manila and was startled. He’d never heard mention of a spouse of the evangelist: Think of St Matthew. He was a good banker. But he let people down [Read More...]

Sainthood cause begins for Chiara Lubich

Chiara Lubich via Wikipedia  Details:  Bishop Raffaello Martinelli will officially open the process of beatification of Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare Movement (or Work of Mary), on 27 January, in the cathedral of the Frascati. Chiara spent most of her life in this diocese and it is here that she is buried. Maria Voce, [Read More...]

American priest who died from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) moves closer to sainthood

From CNA/EWTN:  Servant of God Aloysius Schwartz is one of the 11 causes for canonization that Pope Francis advanced yesterday, and will be granted the title “Venerable” with the pontiff’s recognition of his heroic virtue. Pope Francis approved the advancement of the causes for canonization during a private Jan. 22 audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato [Read More...]

NY Times: “Prominent Native Americans see Father Serra as far from saintly”

Who didn’t see this controversy coming? Details: For generations, fourth graders in California’s schools, often with a parent’s touch, built models of church missions out of poster board or sugar cubes to celebrate the Rev. Junipero Serra and the religious communities he established along the West Coast in the late 1700s. Last week, Pope Francis [Read More...]

Lamb chimes in during papal blessing

St. Agnes via Wikipedia From the good people at Rome Reports, a short video showing the traditional blessing for the Feast of St. Agnes—and one attendee who had something to get off its chest. Pity he wasn’t blessing rabbits. [Read more...]

In praise of Pio

We just completed the annual novena at my parish in honor of St. Pio—more popularly known as Padre Pio. Our church includes a life-sized statue of the saint, which is an object of great devotion and affection. So as we prayed for Pio’s intervention over the last few days, I was reminded of this piece [Read More...]