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Canonization text - Pope Leo XIII: Home

Declared a Saint by the Church!


        "The death of the servant of God was hardly known, than a common sentiment of sorrow seized all hearts; people of all classes and conditions, without exception, published the virtues and good deeds of the deceased.  When his inanimate body, clothed in sacerdotal vestments, was exposed in the chapel, great crowds of people gathered from all parts, and this occurred again at the funeral.  No one was willing to withdraw without carrying away some fragment of his garments to be preserved as a precious souvenir" (p. 25).



        "And there was nothing exaggerated in this eagerness,so great was his reputation for sanctity and the esteem in which he was held by all ranks of society.  This reputation, far from diminishing, constantly increased with time; for, God himself, seemed to confirm it by miracles thus showing that it would be in conformity with his designs that heavenly honors should be conferred on John Baptist.  But the great disturbances that subsequently took place in the state, prevented the immediate accomplishment of this pious duty.  However, canonical inquiries were instituted after some delay by the authority of the Ordinaries.  When they were terminated at Rouen, Rheims and Paris, and then taken to Rome and regularly examined, Gregory XVI, of happy memory signed with his own hand , the commission of introduction of the Cause, on May 1st, 1839.  Later on, when, in conformity with law, the apostolic procedures were ended and approved, the Sacred congregation of Rites began the discussion on the heroicity of the virtues of John Baptist; and Pius IX, our predecessor, published, November 1st, 1873, by solemn Decree: That it appeared so clear that he had practised in a heroic degree, the theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity towards God and his neighbor, as well as the cardinal virtues of Prudence, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance, and other allied virtues, that the examination of the four miracles might be proceeded with.  

       It pleased Us however, to decide, that in order to confer on John Baptist the honors of the Blessed, it would suffice to produce three miracles.  They were the following: the instantaneous and perfect cure of Brother Adelminien of the congregation of the Christian Schools, of progressive locomotor alaxy; the instantaneous and perfect cure of Stephen de Suzanne, a boy aged ten. of deadly capillary bronchitis; the instantaneous and perfect cure of Mary Magdalen Ferry of incurable chronic hydropericarditis, complicated with other dangerous diseases.  After the Sacred Congregation of Rites had submitted these miracles to a threefold examination, We Ourselves declared them authentic and certain by a solemn Decree of November 1st, 1887" (p. 26).