It’s an All-Hallows Autumn!

Okay, so the big canonization weekend is over.  Five people have been added to the universal Church’s roster of saints.  Depressed about all the excitement being over and the prospect of a return to more mundane matters of life?  Don’t be!  This fall is packed with formal recognition of the holiness among us. 

Did you know that a series of beatification ceremonies began with one held in Germany just over a week ago, and will continue throughout the rest of the month and into November?  It’s true.  

October 4 marked the beatification of Eustachius Kugler (1867-1946) in Regensberg, Germany.  This consecrated religious of St John of God’s order cared for the sick and disabled at a time in when doing that in Germany meant going against the Nazi tide.  He was interrogated several times by the Nazis but always stood up to them.  

As if the people of Spain didn’t receive enough recognition of the holiness among them, what with Sunday’s canonization of Rafael Arnaiz Baron and Francisco Coll Guitart, on October 18, Ciriaco María Sancha Hervas (1833 – 1909) will be beatified in Toledo, Spain.  He was the Cardinal-Archbishop of Toledo, renowned for his holiness and pastoral love.  

On October 25, in Milan, Italy, Carlo Gnocchi (1902-1956), a priest of Milan, will be beatified.  He was a military chaplain who, in early 1940s, he did espionage work for the US government, was arrested by Fascist government, and was later released. He cared for sick and disabled young people and founded the Pro Juventute Foundation, which now has groups all over the world.  

On All Hallow’s Eve (the original name for the day before All Saints’ Day, from which “Halloween” is derived), October 31, Zoltán Meszlényi  (1892-1951), an auxiliary Bishop of Esztergom, Hungary, will be beatified in Budapest.   He was imprisoned and tortured by Stalin regime, just after the better-known Cardinal Mindszenty suffered a similar fate.  

Finally, a November 22 beatification will take place in Jesus’s hometown, Nazareth, Israel.  Marie-Alphonsine Danil Ghaţţas (1843-1927) will be beatified.  This religious sister who was born in Jerusalem and lived and worked in Bethlehem experienced apparitions of Mary and founded a new religious order,  the Rosary Sisters, which are still around in many nations today. 

Wow, what a line-up.  If you’re like me, this only piques your curiosity, and you want to know more about this crew.  Well, I hope to be doing some investigating in the days and weeks ahead, so feel free to stop by from time to time, and I’ll report to you the results of my homework.


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