Vatican City, May 10, 2012 / 14:59 pm
Two figures in U.S. Catholic history, a 19th century bishop and a 20th century religious sister, moved closer to possible sainthood with a May 10 decree from the Pope approving their public veneration.
During a meeting with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Pope Benedict XVI authorized decrees of “heroic virtue” for the Servants of God Frederic Baraga, the first Bishop of Marquette, and Miriam Teresa Demjanovich of the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth.
Both will now bear the title “Venerable,” in the place of “Servant of God.” Catholics now have formal approval to pray directly to Bishop Baraga and Sister Miriam Teresa as intercessors before God.
Thursday's meeting was also notable for the Pope's action in regard to St. Hildegard of Bingen, a 12-century Benedictine nun and author who has long been venerated as a saint. On Thursday, the Pope formally added her to the Church's roster of saints, extending her liturgical feast throughout the world.