Word from Vatican is expected on July 1
ST. MARY-OF-THE-WOODS – The Vatican on July 1 is expected to announce the date it will canonize Mother Theodore Guerin, the 19th century nun who founded a religious community in western Indiana.
The Vatican that day will hold a ceremony in the Apostolic Palace to read the decree approving sainthood for beatified faithful, including Guerin. The date for the canonization ceremony itself is usually announced about the same time as the decree reading.
Guerin’s order, the Sisters of Providence, received word Wednesday that the ceremony will take place July 1, said Sister Ann Margaret O’Hara, the general superior of the order.
“We were just waiting to know the date, because everything hinges on that,” O’Hara said.
After the canonization date is known, the order will begin arranging travel plans for a group from the order, O’Hara said. About 500 people traveled to Vatican City for Guerin’s beatification by Pope John Paul II in 1998.
Last month, the Sisters of Providence announced that Pope Benedict XVI had approved a miracle – the regaining of eyesight by an employee at the order’s mother house – attributed to Guerin’s intercession.
Phil McCord, director of facilities management for the order since 1997, said in February that surgery to remove a cataract from his right eye in 2000 damaged his cornea, and his doctor had recommended a corneal transplant.
One miracle is needed for beatification. After beatification, another miracle is required to move forward on the path to canonization.
Guerin was a French nun who left her homeland in 1840 for the then-frontier state of Indiana, where she founded St. Mary-of-the Woods College near Terre Haute within a year of her arrival. She died in 1856 at the age of 57.
Guerin founded the first Catholic school in Fort Wayne, St. Augustine’s Academy for Girls, in 1846.
Guerin’s cause for canonization officially began in 1909, but work actually started in 1901 when Sister Mary Theodosia Mug – a Fort Wayne native whose cure from cancer was accepted as the first miracle attributed to Guerin – wrote Guerin’s biography.
The Vatican in 1998 approved Guerin’s beatification, which meant she had lived a proven life of Christian virtue.