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Announcement from the Archdiocese of Baltimore
Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, Archbishop of Baltimore, presided over the closing session in the Archdiocesan Phase of the Cause for Sainthood of Father Patrick Peyton, CSC during the 12:10 p.m. Mass at the Baltimore Basilica on Tuesday, July 20. Father Peyton is best known as the “Rosary Priest,” who encouraged families through his radio and television programs in the 1940s and 50s to pray together daily, especially the rosary.
The investigation into the Cause for Sainthood of Father Peyton opened in June of 2001. It was moved by the Holy See from the Diocese of Fall River, MA to the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 2008. The Archbishop thanked members of the ecclesiastical tribunal for their work in assisting with the investigation into the life and ministry of Father Peyton, and formally ordered the Archdiocesan investigation into the cause closed. Copies of the documents, which were presented during the Mass, were then sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome, where a determination will be made as to whether the Holy See will initiate its own investigation, the next step in Father Peyton’s path toward sainthood.
The Catholic Church’s process leading to canonization involves three major steps. First is the declaration of a person’s heroic virtues, after which the church gives him/her the title Venerable. Second is beatification, after which he or she is called Blessed. The third step is canonization, or declaration of sainthood.
At various steps in the canonization process, evidence of alleged miracles is presented to Church authorities. In general, two miracles need to be accepted by the church as having occurred through the intercession of the prospective saint.
The Archdiocese of Baltimore has previously been involved in the Causes of Canonization of the Servants of God, Sr. Faustina Kowalska, Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange, and Father Francis Xavier Seelos.