MY COUSIN THE SAINT
A Search for Faith, Family, and Miracles
by Justin Calanoso

Posts Tagged ‘beatification’

A new blessed in the Catholic church

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

The New York Times reports: VATICAN CITY — Lauding John Paul II as a giant of 20th century history as well as a hero of the church, Pope Benedict XVI moved his towering predecessor one step closer to sainthood on Sunday in a celebratory Mass that drew more than a million people to Rome.

Full story here.

If you are visiting my site for the first time, my book gives a full, historical account of the canonization process from my own reporting at the Vatican, as well as Pope John Paul II’s role in changing the canonization process in the early 1980s, and how those church rules applied to my cousin, the saint — whom JPII beatified on May 4, 1997.

Coming to CNN International

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

I hope to be making just those points tomorrow at 10 a.m., when I’ve been invited to appear on CNN International via Skype to talk about the beatification of Pope John Paul II.

Heroic virtue

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

The tenor of the news surrounding the late Pope John Paul II’s beatification in the coming hours has been tilted slightly negatively. Isn’t this process being rushed? Didn’t he fail to confront the pedophile priests in his flock? Wasn’t he dismissive of modernizing the role of women in the church?

One could argue yes, to some degree, in regard to those criticisms. But the conflict-spin on this story misses the larger point — the whole life of John Paul II, a life that can be far more effectively be argued as having been heroically virtuous. That’s the key in this whole march to sainthood. Forget the miracles. That’s an ethereal sideshow. Whether or not you believe in God or Heaven or even the Catholic Church, one simply should not overlook the extraordinary life lived by this pope — beginning with his resistance to Nazism as a young adult right up to the way he dignified old age by living so visibly with Parkinson’s disease. John Paul was, emphatically, one of the most important historical figures of the past century. Believe what you want about this beatification and the motives behind it, but this pope has earned the right to his church’s greatest recognition.

By the way, nearly 17 years ago, on May 4, 1997, Pope John Paul II beatified my favorite saint — Padre Gaetano Catanoso, cousin of my grandfather, and thus, my cousin as well.

US Catholics celebrate, debate the legacy of Pope John Paul II

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Tom Breen, a reporter with the Associated Press, does a great job with this national story on the upcoming beatification of Pope John Paul II. I was lucky enough to be one of his sources.

ExcerptJohn Paul II was himself an enthusiastic promoter of sainthood and beatification. He streamlined the process to make canonization move faster, celebrated canonizations all over the world and named more saints than all the popes in the previous 400 years combined.

“He understood that there’s nothing like a canonization to fire up the faithful,“ said Justin Catanoso, a North Carolina journalist and author of “My Cousin the Saint,“ about his relative Gaetano Catanoso, who was beatified and named a saint by John Paul II. “It’s just a gorgeous ritual.“

Fr. James Martin on saints and saint making

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

In the run-up to Sunday’s beatification of the late Pope John Paul II in Rome, author and Jesuit priest Father James Martin writes in Slate:

“The naysayers, mainly on the left, see John Paul not as one of the great religious figures of the age, but as a person with whom they often disagreed, particularly on issues of the ordination of women, the Vatican’s response to the sexual-abuse crisis, and treatment of gays and lesbians. The most common arguments against his canonization can be boiled down to two: First, I disagreed with him. Second, he wasn’t perfect.”

The essay is here.

Pope John Paul II moves a step closer to sainthood

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Washington Post reports: “VATICAN CITY — During Pope John Paul II’s 2005 funeral, crowds at the Vatican shouted for him to be made a saint immediately. “Santo subito!” they chanted for one of the most important and beloved pontiffs in history. His successor heard their call. On Friday, in the fastest process on record, Pope Benedict XVI set May 1 as the date for John Paul’s beatification — a key step toward Catholicism’s highest honor and a major morale boost for a church reeling from the clerical sex abuse scandal.”

John Paul II, the busiest saint-maker in church history, approved each step in the process for the 2005 canonization of Padre Gaetano Catanoso. Pope Benedict XVI canonized Gaetano several months after JPII’s death. To learn more about saints and the canonization process, there are few sources better than My Cousin the Saint.

Delay for JPII?

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

giansanti of JPII
The blog Clerical Whispers reports: “The beatification of Pope John Paul II may be delayed as the Vatican seeks more documentation regarding his almost 27 years as pope, Italian newspapers reported in late May.”

Making a saint

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009


Talk of JPII’s beatification is in the air. JPII helped Saint Gaetano get there. Here’s how. Filmed in Reggio and Rome by Michael Frierson, UNC-Greensboro.

Mixed message

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Pope Benedict XVI says he’s praying for the beatification of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II. But Monsignor Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, says the next to last step before canonization for JPII is not imminent.

Wondering: doesn’t the former have a bit influence over the latter? Full story here.

A star and her saint

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

An Italian web site reports: “Sophia Loren has lent her weight to the cause of Pope John Paul II reaching sainthood. The screen star has written to the Vatican official who is putting the case for the late pope’s beatification, one step from sainthood, Italian magazine Chi reports in an edition out Wednesday. ‘The memory of John Paul II is jealously guarded in my heart,’ says the 74-year-old screen icon. ‘It is a daily memory,’ she says, adding that she prayed at the pope’s tomb ‘to bear witness to my great admiration and devotion.’”

The whole story is here.