By Roy Lagarde
Pope Francis has put another Filipina nun on the path to sainthood by declaring her ‘venerable’.
The pope recognized that Mother Francisca Del Espiritu Santo De Fuentes, founder of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, lived the Christian virtues in a heroic way.
The Vatican announced the pontiff’s decision July 6. It marks the first major step on the path to sainthood for the nun who died in Manila in 1711.
The pope would have to recognize a miracle attributed to the Mother Francisca’s intercession in order for her to be beatified, the next step toward sainthood.
The process of becoming a saint is lengthy, often taking decades or centuries to complete.
After the beatification, another miracle would be needed for canonization.
Mother Francisca’s path to sainthood started as early as December 2002 when the Vatican had been petitioned to open the Cause of the nun.
In March the following year, the petition was granted by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
The Decree of Validity on the Diocesan Inquiry was granted in June 2007 which allowed the writing of the “positio” on the life, virtues and fame of sanctity of Mother Francisca.
The completion of the positio was in 2012. The Mother Francisca Commission received a copy of the positio in December 2014 with the favorable evaluation from the Historical Experts of the Vatican.
Mother Francisca was buried in the Church of the Collegio de San Juan de Letran. Her tomb was over the steps of the main altar on the gospel side.
Last month, Pope Francis also granted a Dominican nun the title of venerable after recognizing the heroic virtue of Mother Maria Beatrice Rosario Arroyo.
Born in Iloilo, Arroyo is the founder of the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of the Holy Rosary. She died in June 1957.