A Filipino woman who came out of a coma due to the intercession of soon-to-be canonized Pedro Calungsod probably won’t be able to attend the martyr’s canonization next month in Rome.
The situation, say canonization trip leaders, is that the long travel involved would likely stress the woman’s acute asthma too much.
The lady had been in a severe coma and few thought she would ever come out of that, much less continue living. But her doctor asked Bl. Pedro Calungsod for his intercession, and the woman recovered in a way medical professionals cannot explain.
Whether this woman gets to attend the canonization Mass or not, it seems the real take away here comes from the doctor. All this person did was to say a simple little prayer asking for a saint’s intercession. It shows that no action of ours is too little for God to use in bringing graces and blessings to another person’s life.
Copacabana is not just a night club
The diocesan phase has finished for the beatification process for a Bolivian priest who carved the statue representing his nation’s patroness, Our Lady of Copacabana. If his cause is successful, the Servant of God Fr. Francisco Tito Yupanqui, a 15th century priest from the Aymara Indian tribe, would become Bolivia’s first saint.
Fr. Yupanqui was a direct descendant of the Incan Emperor Huyana Cupac who asked for baptism after receiving instruction from Dominican friars. A few years later, he became a priest.
Fr. Yupanqui wanted an image of Our Lady his people could venerate and which might in turn stoke their faith in Christ. So he set about to make one himself, even though he had no experience in sculpting. His first attempt in clay, however, was what you might expect from someone with no experience, and the pastor of the church to whom he had given it placed the sculpture in a back corner of Copacabana’s sacristy.
It’s sad, because Fr. Yupanqui had put so much love, time, and effort into crafting this small figure, and now it was being seen by no one. You can imagine how humbling that must have been for him.
His relatives, though, told him that if this was what he thought God was calling him to do, to not give up. They encouraged him to go to the provincial capital of Potosi, which was a center for the arts, so that he could learn from the very best sculptors.
So he did, and studying under these people, he became an expert wood carver. Before he set about sculpting a new statue, he celebrated Mass to ask for the grace to do well. (We always have to get those graces.)
Sadly, when he finished, the people back home again decided they didn’t want it. Well, Fr. Yupanqui was having none of it. He decided to make the statue a travelling, pilgrim one. Everywhere he took the figurine, people began reporting miracles after praying for Our Lady’s intercession before this beautiful image.
As a result, the statue came back home, and a shrine was built for it, making it the third oldest Marian shrine in the Americas after Guadalupe in Mexico and Cocharcas in Peru.
This Aymaran Indian priest showed great “perseverance because he promised the people of Copacabana that he would make a bust of the Virgin Mary, despite opposition from some who said, ‘What can an Indian do? Impossible. We need to bring a professionally made statue from Spain.’” He makes us ask, “What am I doing to persevere for Our Lord and the increase of His kingdom on earth?”
Cause for late Knights of Malta prince to commence soon
As you may know, canon law requires a five-year period between a person’s death and the initiation of their cause for beatification. Well, on February 7, 2013, it will have been exactly five years since the passing of Grand Master and Prince Fra’ Andrew Bertie of the Order of Malta (better known as the Knights of Malta), and judging by the looks of things, it is a good bet the Order won’t waste any time in introducing his cause.
Fra Andrew was the youngest son of the 7th Earl of Abingdon and descended from English royalty on both sides of his family. After his education, he taught foreign languages and joined the Order of Malta in 1956. Thirty-two-years later, in 1988, he became the Order’s Grand Master, succeeding Bl. Gerard Sasso, and his reign was known for clearly adhering to the Knights’ motto, “Defence of the Faith and Service of the Poor.”
Now, even though the cause cannot officially open for a few months yet, the Order is already in the process of collecting the testimony of those who knew Fra Andrew.