The round up for the week of 1 to 7 February 2015.
There are no beatifications scheduled for this week.
Sunday 1 February, in 1908 the death of Rafael Guastavino. An architect originally from Spain, he is known for the buildings he did across the eastern United States. Of particular note is the Basilica of S Lawrence in Asheville, North Carolina. There he is buried, in a crypt designed for three. Due to changes in zoning, his daughter and wife were not able to be interred with him, and so he is alone in his basilica. I am not aware of a cause for his canonization.
Also 1 February, of interest to the Breton, the feast of S John of the Grating. Bishop of Alet, now Saint-Malo, he is one of the earliest Breton saints confirmed by the Vatican, which happened in 1517.
Also 1 February, of interest in Mexico, the repose of the Venerable Servant of God Ramon Ibarra Gonzalez.
Also 1 February, of interest in Venezuela, the memorial of the Blessed Susana Paz Castillo.
Also 1 February, of interest in Colombia, the memorial of the Blessed Luigi Variara.
Monday 2 February, in 1970 in Minnesota, the repose of the Servant of God Giancarlo Rastelli. A married layman from Italy, he was a pediatric heart surgeon who literally saved babies’ lives for a living. He was esteemed not only for that, but for his personal holiness in the face of his own sickness, which took him in his late thirties. His cause was opened in Italy in 2005.
Also 2 February, in 1706 in Louisiana, the memory of the death of John Francis Buisson de St. Cosme. He is thought to have died in December, so I can’t recall now why he is remembered in February. A priest from Quebec, possibly of the Quebec Seminary, he was journeying near the mouth of the Mississippi ministering to the native peoples when he was attacked and killed. He is considered protomartyr of Louisiana. I am not aware of a cause for his canonization.
Also 2 February, of interest in Ecuador, the feast of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin under the name of Our Lady of Good Success.
Tuesday 3 February, in 1882 in Baltimore, the repose of the Servant of God Mary Elizabeth Lange. Born in Haiti, or possibly Cuba, her family is believed to have fled the violence of the Revolution in Haiti, arriving in the United States in the early nineteenth century. There she helped set up a school for the immigrant population and founded the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first American order for women of African descent. Her cause went to Rome in 2006.
Also 3 February, in 1943 in the Atlantic Ocean, the death of John P. Washington. A priest and chaplain from New Jersey, he is one of the Four Chaplains, known for giving up their life jackets and ministering to those trapped on the ship in the sinking of the USAT Dorchester. Their action became a symbol of interfaith service. I am not aware of a cause for his canonization.
Also 3 February, in 1997, the repose of Luke John Neumann Hooker. A child, he has been presented as a saint for his personal holiness and courage in the face of illness. There is, however, no official cause for his canonization.
Also 3 February, of interest to the Breton, in 1951 in Brittany the repose of the Servant of God Marie-Yvonne-Aimee of Jesus. A religious with the Augustinian Sisters of the Mercy of Jesus, she is not only known for her holiness and for running her convent, but also for her help with the French Resistance during World War II. Her cause was opened in the fifties but doesn’t seem to be progressing.
Wednesday 4 February, in 1938 in China, the killing of Gerard Donovan. A Maryknoll priest, he was the first of their order to be killed. Abducted by bandits, allegedly for ransom, while China was under Japanese occupation in the lead up to the Second World War, he was strangled while in captivity. I am not aware of a cause for his canonization.
Also 4 February, in 1944 in Mississippi, the execution of Claude Newman. A convicted murderer, he was executed by the state for his crime, but during his time on death row he was visited by visions of the Blessed Virgin, leading to his conversion and acceptance into the Church. He is said to have worked the conversion of a fellow prisoner from heaven. I am not aware of a cause for his canonization.
Thursday 5 February, in 1968 in Louisiana, the repose of the Servant of God Jean Martin Eyraud. A priest born in France, he served in a parish in Louisiana for many years, where he impressed with his holiness. His cause was formally opened in 2001.
Also 5 February, of interest to the Breton, the memory of the Servants of God the 77 Martyrs of Rennes, Saint-Brieuc, Quimper-Leon, and Vannes. “The Breton Martyrs,” this is the collective cause for those killed by the French Revolution, priests and lay, from 1793 to 1800. Their cause was opened in the thirties but seems dormant.
Friday 6 February, in 2012, the repose of William Walter Benish. A priest of the Diocese of Austin, I remember him as an influence on my life. There is no cause for his canonization.
Also 6 February, the death of King Charles II of England. Having converted to Catholicism on his deathbed, he was the first Catholic English king, and the first English Catholic monarch other than Queen Mary, since King Henry VIII.
Also 6 February, of interest to Mexico, the feast of the SS the Martyrs of Nagasaki, including the following who were born or lived in Mexico: Philip of Jesus, Peter Baptist Blasquez, Martin de Aguirre, Francis Blanco, and Francis de San Miguel.
Saturday 7 February, in 1920 in Rome, the repose of the Servant of God Francis Joseph Parater. From Virginia, he was a seminarian studying in the Vatican when he contracted rheumatic fever and died. His personal holiness has kept his reputation alive, and the cause for his canonization was formally opened in 2001. His cause went to Rome in 2007.
Also 7 February, in 1985 in Wisconsin, the killings of John Rossiter, Ferdinand Roth, and William Hammes. The first, a secular priest, was shot and killed by a gunman apparently angry at the liturgical practices at Father Rossiter’s church. The other two, laymen, died trying to defend him. I am not aware of a cause for their canonization.
Also 7 February, in 1990 in the Vatican, the repose of Nazarena of Jesus. Born in Connecticut, she was an accomplished musician. Somewhat of a mystic, she became a Camadolese religious, eventually winning permission to live out her life as a hermitess. She spent about forty-five years in this isolation. I am not aware of a cause for her canonization.
Mary, Our Lady of Good Success, ora pro nobis.
S John of the Grating, ora pro nobis.
S Philip of Jesus, ora pro nobis.
S Peter Baptist Blasquez, ora pro nobis.
S Martin de Aguirre, ora pro nobis.
S Francis Blanco, ora pro nobis.
S Francis de San Miguel, ora pro nobis.
All the saints, orate pro nobis.
All the martyrs, orate pro nobis.