Pope Francis moved seven people closer to sainthood on Saturday, May 22, when he received Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, who presented to him for approval seven decrees regarding the sainthood causes of seven candidates, reported Vatican News. The Holy Father authorized the Congregation to promulgate a decree on martyrdom and 6 decrees on heroic virtues.
The candidates from Peru, Italy, Poland, Spain, and Hungary include 3 women and 4 men. They are as follows:
– The martyrdom of Servant of God Maria Agostina Rivas López, known as Aguchita (born Antonia Luzmila), a nun of the congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd. She was born in Coracora (Peru) on 13 June 1920. She worked with and advocated on behalf of girls and indigenous people in her poor jungle community in Peru. She was killed on 27 September 1990 in Coracora by a terrorist group in hatred of the Faith. The recognition of her martyrdom clears Sister Aguchita for beatification.
– The heroic virtues of Servant of God Felice Canelli, a diocesan priest who was born in San Severo (Italy) on 14 October 1880 and died there on 23 November 1977.
– The heroic virtues of Servant of God Bernard of the Mother of Beautiful Love (born Zygmunt Kryszkiewicz), a professed priest of the Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ, commonly known as Passionists. He was born in Mława (Poland) on 2 May 1915 and died in Przasnysz (Poland) on 7 July 1945.
– The heroic virtues of Servant of God Mariano Gazpio Ezcurra, a professed priest of the Augustinian Recollect Order. He was born in Puente la Reina (Spain) on 18 December 1899 and died in Pamplona (Spain) on 22 September 1989.
– The heroic virtues of Servant of God Colomba di Gesù Ostia (born Anna Antonietta Mezzacapo), Prioress of the Monastery of Santa Teresa delle Carmelitane Scalze di “Marcianise”. She was born in Marcianise (Italy) on June 15, 1914, and died there on August 13, 1969.
– The heroic virtues of Servant of God Antonia Lesino, of the secular Institute known as the “Little Franciscan Family”. She was born in Milan (Italy) on 11 October 1897 and died in Brescia (Italy) on 24 February 1962.
– The heroic virtues of the Servant of God Alessandro Bálint, a layman and father of a family. He was born in Szeged-Alsóváros (today Hungary) on 1 August 1904 and died in Budapest (Hungary) on 10 May 1980.
With the six decrees on heroic virtues, the respective candidates receive the title Venerable Servant of God, of simple Venerable.