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

Posts Tagged ‘Pope John Paul II’

Just-in Time for Christmas

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Just a reminder that My Cousin the Saint — in hard cover, paperback or e-book — makes a great gift for Christmas. It’s a timeless story about faith, family, and miracles. And much of the story is set in Italy! The prices in any format are really inexpensive these days. So order early and often!

April 4, 1963

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Today is Easter, of course. It is also the anniversary of the death of Padre Gaetano Catanoso. He was 84 on this day in 1963, when he died in his own bed in Santo Spirito in Reggio Calabria. Some hours before his death, Monsignor Sorrentino of Reggio visited his mentor and spoke with him about Saint Francis of Paola, the last saint named from Calabria (in the early 1500s). The mother general of Padre Gaetano’s order of nuns mentioned to the monsignor that Calabria was in needs of new saints. Thus, the idea was lodged. Sorrentino launched the cause for canonization in 1980 under Pope John Paul II. The canonization, led by Pope Benedict XVI, took place Oct. 23, 2005.

Vatican Defends Move to Sainthood for Wartime Pope

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

The NY Times reports today:

“ROME — In an effort to calm growing tensions with Jewish groups, the Vatican said Wednesday that Pope Benedict XVI had not moved the wartime Pope Pius XII closer to sainthood as an “act of hostility” against those who believe Pius did not do enough to stop the Holocaust.”

…This pope seems to have a difficult time avoiding controversy, from provoking Muslims to giving Holocaust-deniers a free pass to advancing the canonization cause of one of the most controversial popes of modern times. One has a right to ask: Why?

Research for my book revealed that Pius XII was not nearly the monster his critics accused him of being, nor was he the Nazi sympathizer he was charged with being either. The historical record seems to argue that Pius took great risks to hide and protect Jews in Italy during WWII in Vatican-owned property. That’s all good. But what, we must ask, is the purpose of canonization? Is it to simply honor the church’s best-known figures? Or is it to honor those who truly lived lives of heroic virtue, and whose lives can be an  inspiration to the faithful — role models for emulation? If Pius can truly pass the test of the latter, he deserves his shot at Catholic recognition. If, on the weight of the evidence, he cannot, than this cause should die and be done with.

But for a German pope to push this cause forward, it seems another case of the Vatican’s blindness to perceptions.

Closer to sainthood

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

giansanti of JPII
NYT reports here:

ROME — Pope Benedict XVI moved two of his predecessors a step closer to sainthood on Saturday, confirming the “heroic virtues” of John Paul II and, in a surprise move, those of Pius XII, the pope during World War II.

New York Times coverage

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

My Google alert for “Gaetano Catanoso” pushed me this morning a story from history — a New York Times feature about the beatification of a gypsy in 1997 by Pope John Paul II in Rome. Just so happens, my cousin was beatified in the same ceremony. Of course, at the time, I knew nothing about this cousin, and no had idea he was on a path toward sainthood. Must’ve missed this story in the Times, too…

Now in paperback

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

My Cousin the Saint
Released today, by Harper Perennial. Available here. Take a look inside here.

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.