The Church beatified a 14-year-old martyr on October 5. Rolando Rivi was a seminarian in Modena, Italy, whom communists kidnapped and beat to death.
Here’s the interesting thing: He did nothing to elicit his martyrdom. All he did was walk down the street wearing his cassock. However, in the post-War period, when the anti-clerical Reds were particularly strong and vocal about their hatred for all things Catholic, that simple act was enough.
His parents and others had warned him that with the communists out in force, it was not prudent to wear the cassock. But Rolando said he saw no reason why he shouldn’t wear it because it “is the sign that I belong to Jesus.”
In his October 6 Angelus address, Pope Francis said of Bl. Rolando, “Let us thank God for this young martyr, a heroic witness of the Gospel. And how many youth of 14 years today have before their eyes this example: a courageous youth who knew where he was going, who knew the love of Jesus in his heart and gave his life for Him. A fine example for the youth!”
Pope Declares New Saint, and Makes a New Canadian Venerable
On October 9, Pope Francis declared an Italian blessed as a saint. Angela da Foligno lived from 1248 to 1309. She was a wife and mother who lived a life divorced from God when one day, St. Francis appeared to her in a dream calling her to repentance. From that point on, she withdrew from the world, and when her family died, she founded an order. The order was unique at the time because its women weren’t cloistered. Instead, they led a life of service to the needy. St. Angela is most remembered, however, for her spiritual writings. Especially noteworthy is her autobiography, Memorial.
That same day, he declared venerable Bishop Pio Alberto Del Corona, an Italian who lived from 1837 to 1912 and founded the Dominican Sisters of the Holy Spirit; Attilio Luciano Giordani (1913-72), and Italian layman, father, and Salesian Cooperator, Sister Maria Eleonora Giorgi (1882-1945), an Italian religious sister of the Sisters Servants of Our Lady of Sorrows, Amato Ronconi (1226-92), an Italian layman, Secular Franciscan and founder of a hospice for the poor in Rimini, Italy, Sister Marie Elisabeth Turgeon (1840-81), a Canadian and foundress of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, and Sister Maria Jane Wilson (1840-1916), an Indian religious who founded the Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Victories.
According to Canada’s Catholic Register, “The now Venerable Marie Elisabeth died of tuberculosis at the age of 41, but before her death she had founded a teaching order and extended basic education to children in remote villages in rural Quebec. [Today the order has] 360 religious sisters active in Canada, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and the United States.”
Additionally, the Pope also signed off on a miracle attributed to the intercession of the Servant of God Maria Assunta Caterina Marchetti, the Italian co-foundress of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles (1871-1948). This means she will soon become a blessed.
Yet More Spanish Martyrs Beatified
On October 13, in the city of Tarragona, Spain, the Church beatified the Servant of God Maria of Montserrat (nee Josepha Pilar García y Solanas) and 8 Companions, professed nuns of the Order of the Minims of St. Francis di Paola, plus Lucrezia García y Solanas, a laywoman and widow, who were killed in hatred of the Faith during the Spanish Civil War on July 23, 1936. Lucrezia was the sister of Maria de Monserrat.
Hungarian Martyr Beatified
On October 19, István Sandor, a Salesian monk executed by Hungary’s communist regime in 1953, was declared beatified. This means he is definitely in heaven and is only one miracle away from canonization.
When Hungary’s communist regime outlawed all religious orders in 1950, including the Salesians, Sandor ignore this and continued his ministry. The communists learned of this, and although Sandor could have easily fled, he decided he could not abandon his flock. Still, he avoided detection for roughly two years before finally being arrested, tried, and executed.
US Priest’s Cause Moves to Rome
On Wednesday, October 30, a Mass took place at the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel in Loretto, PA, to commemorate the closing of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown’s investigation into the beatification cause of the Servant of God Fr. Demetrius Gallitzin.
A Russian prince, Gallitzin was born into the Russian Orthodox Church but became Catholic at age 17. At 22, he came to America, entered the seminary, and received ordination three years later, making him one of the first priests to take Holy Orders on American soil.
He was sent to the area around Loretto and was so untiring in his missionary efforts, he became known as the Apostle of the Alleghenies.
His cause now moves to Rome where the Congregation for the Causes of Saints will study whether he lived a life of heroic virtue.