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Fr John Sullivan SJ is one step closer to beatification

A miracle attributed to an Irish Jesuit priest has been recognized by the Vatican. Fr John Sullivan SJ was declared Venerable by Pope Francis in November 2014 and the Pope has now officially recognized a miracle attributed to the priest, paving the way for his beatification.

Fr John Sullivan’s is believed to have cured Michael Collins, nephew of Michael Collins, founder of the Irish Free State in 1928, who was paralyzed as a young boy but suddenly walked after Fr John touched his leg and prayed over him.

Fr Sullivan was born in Dublin in 1861 to a wealthy Protestant father and Catholic mother.

At the turn of the century he converted to Catholicism and entered the Jesuit novitiate.

He is associated with a number of miraculous cures throughout his lifetime. He died on February 19, 1933, at St Vincent’s Nursing Home, Dublin.

Formally recognizing the martyrdom of the Albanian martyrs and a group of Spanish martyrs, Pope Francis set the stage for their beatification ceremonies as well, Catholic News Service reports.

The Albanian martyrs include Archbishop Vincent Prennushi, a Franciscan prelate, and 37 other Catholics killed between 1945 and 1974.

The religious persecution the atheist state waged from 1944 to the 1990s was so severe that it prompted Pope Francis to make Albania the first country in Europe he visited.

During the visit in September 2014, the Pope was moved to tears after listening to the stories of two survivors of Albania’s communist crackdown against the church; the pope called the country “a land of heroes and martyrs."

The martyrs of the Spanish Civil War who will be beatified are Benedictine Father Jose Anton Gomez and three companions who were killed in 1936.

In recognizing a miracle attributed to Blessed Alfonso Maria Fusco, an Italian priest who founded the Congregation of the Baptistine Sisters of the Nazarene, Pope Francis cleared the way for his canonization.

In causes just beginning their way toward sainthood, the pope signed decrees recognizing the heroic virtues of three men and five women, including:

— Fr Thomas Choe Yang-eop, a Korean priest who died in 1861. Known as the “martyr of sweat," he traveled more than 2,500 miles every year and listened to some 4,000 confessions.

— Fr Sosio Del Prete, an Italian Franciscan priest and founder of the Little Servants of Christ the King.

— Fr Walenty Katarzyniec, a Polish Franciscan priest who died in 1921.

— Mother Emilia Pasqualina Addatis, the Italian founder of the Congregation of Mother of Sorrows Servants of Mary.

— Mother Caterina Carrasco Tenorio, a Spanish nun and founder of the Franciscan Sisters of the Flock of Mary. She died in 1917.

— Mother Laura Baraggia, an Italian nun born in 1851 who founded the Sisters of the Family of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

— Mother Ilia Corsaro, an Italian nun and foundress of the Little Missionaries of the Eucharist. She died in 1977.

— Maria Montserrat Grases Garcia, a Spanish laywoman and member of Opus Dei who died in 1959 at the age of 17.


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