Vatican City, Jul 1, 2010 / 10:09 am America/Denver (CNA).
Pope Benedict XVI authorized the Pontifical Council for the Causes of Saints to promulgate the decrees on a variety of miracles, martyrs and declarations of heroic virtue on Thursday. Included among the European majority is an Italian priest destined for canonization.
Just a day after the Church's celebration of the Feast of the First Martyrs of the Church, Pope Benedict XVI and Archbishop Angelo Amato, prefect of the congregation, met to review saints' causes that were up for approval.
Topping the list of candidates is the man who will become the Church's newest saint, Blessed Luigi Guanella, Italian priest-founder of the Servants of Charity congregation of religious brothers and of the Institute of the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence. Living from 1842 to 1915, he first started the sisters' orphanage to assist a children's home he had founded.
The community now has 100 homes and 1,200 religious sisters.
In addition to establishing the Servants of Charity, which now has 500 members dedicated to assisting those in need, two years before his own death he founded the Pious Union of Saint Joseph whose members pray for the dying. The first of what has now become millions of members of the prayer group was Pope Pius X.