Beatification for Brazil’s “martyr of morality” moving forward

The Holy See gave the green light this week to open the cause for canonization of Francisco Expedito Lopes, Bishop of Garanhuns, Brazil, and founder of the Institute of the Missionaries of Our Lady of Fatima of Brazil.  Bishop Expedito was assassinated in 1957 and is known as a “martyr for the defense of morality.”

The current bishop of the dioceses, Bishop Irineu Roque Scherer, explained that “with the nihil obstat of the Holy See for the material I sent to Rome, after reopening the cause for canonization, I have set up an ecclesiastical tribunal to push ahead with the cause.”  The postulator of the cause is Acacio Rodrigues Alves, Bishop Emeritus of Palmares.

Bishop Irineu recalled that Bishop Expedito was bishop of Oeiras for almost seven years before arriving at Garanhuns in 1955, adding that “we hope to show that Bishop Expedito was a martyr in defense of morality, since as a martyr there is no need for a miracle for beatification, the final step to canonization.”

The bishop was assassinated by Fr. Hosana de Siqueira e Silva, who was warned he could be suspended for his immoral conduct.

“Bishop Expedito died in my arms,” said the postulator, Bishop Acacio, and he recalled that, with 11 priests at his bedside, the Lord took his soul on July 2, 1957, at the Dom Moura Hospital.

Sister Mirtes, 71, one of the first religious to join the Institute founded by Bishop Expedito, said, “I remember him as a simple man with profound devotion to Our Lady.”

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