The Process of Beatification
The Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus eagerly await the great joy of seeing our Foundress Mother Clelia Merloni raised to the honors of the altar.
The process of Beatification is as follows:
To begin a cause it is necessary for at least 5 years to have passed since the candidate's death. The pope can dispense with this waiting period.
The bishop of the diocese in which the candidate died is responsible for beginning the investigation. The promoter group ('Actor Causae'), that is, the diocese, parish, religious congregation, or association, asks the bishop through the postulator for the opening of the investigation. At this point the candidate is given the title of Servant of God.
Once the diocesan investigation is finished, the acts and documentation are passed on to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The postulator, resident in Rome, follows the preparation of the 'Positio', or summary of the documentation that proves the heroic exercise of virtue, under the direction of a relator of the Congregation.
The 'Positio' undergoes a theological examination by nine theologians. If it is approved, the cause is passed on for examination by cardinals and bishops who are members of the congregation. If their judgment is favorable, the prefect of the congregation presents the results of the entire course of the cause to the Holy Father, who gives his approval and authorizes the congregation to draft the relative decree.
For the beatification of a Servant of God, a miracle attributed to his intercession and verified after his death is necessary. An investigation and relative decree follow. Once the two decrees are promulgated (regarding the heroic virtues and the miracle) the Holy Father decides on beatification, which is the concession of public worship, limited to a particular sphere. With beatification the candidate receives the title of Blessed.
For canonization another miracle is needed, attributed to the intercession of the Blessed and having occurred after his beatification. Canonization is understood as the concession of public worship in the Universal Church. With canonization, the Blessed acquires the title of Saint.
Mother Clelia's beatification process in the diocese of Rome concluded on April 1, 1998. The acts and documents were sent at that time to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, which voted affirmatively on the validity of the diocesan investigation on August 7, 1999. The relator was named on September 24, 1999. The Positio is in preparation and the process of investigating the presumed miracle is officially opened in the Vicariate of Rome. All work is being carried out by the postulation in the Mother Clelia Archives at the generalate and then presented to the relator and the postulator, Luca M. DeRosa, OFM. The required study is moving forward in accord with established norms.
Let us all continue to pray that Mother Clelia, if it be God's will, soon will be called "to the honors of beatification so that we may have recourse more and more to her intercession and may learn from her example to devote ourselves humbly "and generously" in God's service!