The inquiry has been concluded at the Court of Mariana (Brazil), and the results of the full investigation are sent to Rome
On September 24th, the Feast of Our Lady of Ransom, the local phase (where a local diocese directs the process) of the inquiry on the alleged miracle ascribed to Bl. Antoine-Frédéric Ozanam was concluded after conducting a thorough 11-month investigation. Sufficient evidence thereof must be gathered for canonisation. The closing ceremony was held at the Archdiocesan Curia of Mariana (Brazil), presided over by Archbishop Airton José dos Santos.
On this occasion, the 16th President General, our fellow member Renato Lima de Oliveira, was appointed ‘official courier’ of the documentation (900 pages) attesting the allegedly miraculous cure ascribed to Ozanam: reports, witness testimonies, as well as medical and expert evidence were packaged, duly wrapped and secured with seals; and our fellow member Renato Lima will personally deliver, God willing, this documentation to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints (Vatican Phase).
Luiz Antenor Rosa Botelho (Vice Postulator in Brazil), Father Marcos Macário Mendes (Episcopal delegate), Monsignor Celso Murilo Sousa Reis (Promoter of Justice), Father Getúlio Mota Grossi (Vincentian priest and official medical expert), Monsignor Roberto Natali Starlino (Notary-Actuary) and sister María de Lourdes Soares Duarte (Notarial assistant) were also present at the solemn ceremony.
The ceremony opened with the ‘Veni Creator Spiritus’ hymn, sung in Latin, as an invocation of the Holy Spirit, thereby shrouding the event in a very solemn atmosphere. Shortly afterwards, Mgr Airton dos Santos went on to explain the relevance of the Ecclesiastical Court, and stated that the inquiry had been concluded, testifying to the trustworthiness of all the documents pertaining thereto. Upon laying hands on the Holy Bible, all attendees swore an oath, keeping the details of the alleged miracle strictly confidential.
“It was an historic day for the whole Church, especially for us, fellow members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. It was also a very moving ceremony, since the cause for Ozanam’s canonisation was started 95 years ago, looked forward to by all the Vincentians in the world. As the official courier, I will have the privilege and immense honour of personally delivering the documents in Rome, where the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and their experts will review and scrutinise the investigation as part of the process. Father Giuseppe Guerra CM, as postulator, will pursue the process in the subsequent phases”, stressed President General, Renato Lima.
The Council General International requests once again all members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and the many branches of the Vincentian Family around the world to intensify their devotion and to keep praying to God for the grace of Antoine-Frédéric Ozanam’s canonisation: “May the Church proclaim his holiness, as a saint, a providential light for today’s world!”, as recited in all our Conferences in the prayer for his canonisation.