Left to right: Blessed Jeanne Emilie De Villeneuve, Blessed Mary Alphonsine Danil Ghattas and Blessed Mariam Baouardy. Pope Francis recognized the miracles needed for the canonization of a French foundress and two Palestinian nuns. Register file photo

Pope issues decrees in sainthood causes of eight women

By  Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service
  • December 9, 2014

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis recognized the miracles needed for the canonization of two Palestinian nuns and of a French woman who founded a religious order.

The three religious women who now have the miracles they need to be declared saints:

-- Blessed Jeanne Emilie De Villeneuve, founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. Born in Toulouse, France, in 1811, she died in Castres, France, in 1854.

-- Blessed Mary Alphonsine Danil Ghattas, founder of the Dominican Sisters of the Holy Rosary of Jerusalem, the first Palestinian religious order. She was born in Jerusalem in 1843 and died in Ain Karem in 1927.

-- Blessed Mariam Baouardy, a Melkite Catholic member of the Discalced Carmelites. She was born in 1846 in Ibillin, in the Galilee region of what is now Israel, and died in Bethlehem in 1878.

In promulgating decrees for sainthood causes Dec. 6, the pope also recognized the heroic virtues of two married women with children: Spaniard Prassede Fernandez Garcia, mother of four children; and Italian Elisabetta Tasca, mother of 13 children.

The two laywomen are now "venerable," but the Vatican would have to recognize a miracle attributed to their intercession before they could be beatified, a step on the way to sainthood.

The three other decrees the pope signed Dec. 6 also were for the causes of women. He recognized the heroic virtues of: Sister Francesca Prestigiacomo, the Italian founder of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of the Incarnate Word; Sister Maria Seiquer Gaya, the Spanish founder of the Apostolic Sisters of Christ Crucified; and the Czech Sister Adalberta Vojtecha Hasmandova, a former superior general of the Sisters of Mercy of St. Charles Borromeo.

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