Pope Francis has called an Ordinary Public Consistory to consider seven causes for canonization, including that of Blessed Charles de Foucauld.
At the Consistory, set for Monday, May 3, Cardinals resident in Rome or who are present in city will vote on whether to proceed with the canonizations of the Blesseds. The Vatican has noted that the Consistory will take place in full compliance with health and sanitation measures undertaken to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Blessed Charles was a French army officer and explorer, who later became a Cistercian monk and later left the Trappists to live as a hermit in North Africa. He was killed in 1916 by tribal raiders who were attempting to kidnap him. Pope Benedict XVI recognized de Foucauld as a martyr when he beatified him in 2005.
Pope Francis cleared the way for his canonization when, on May 26, 2020, he approved the decree from the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints recognizing a miracle attributed to Bl Charles’ intercession.
“Charles de Foucauld, perhaps like few others, grasped the import of the spirituality which radiates from Nazareth,” Pope Francis said of the Blessed in 2015 at the Prayer Vigil in preparation for the Synod on the Family.
“This great explorer hastily abandoned his military career, attracted by the mystery of the Holy Family, the mystery of Jesus’ daily relationship with his parents and neighbours, his quiet labour, his humble prayer. Contemplating the Family of Nazareth, Brother Charles realized how empty the desire for wealth and power really is. Through his apostolate of charity, he became everything to everyone,” the Pope said.
“Attracted by the life of a hermit, [Charles] came to understand that we do not grow in the love of God by avoiding the entanglement of human relations. For in loving others, we learn to love God, in stooping down to help our neighbour, we are lifted up to God. Through his fraternal closeness and his solidarity with the poor and the abandoned, he came to understand that it is they who evangelize us, they who help us to grow in humanity.”
In addition to Blessed Charles de Foucauld, the Cardinals will be giving their vota on six other causes, including Blessed Lazarus (Devasahayam Pillai), the first Indian layman to be beatified. The Church recognized his martyrdom on December 2, 2012. Bl Lazarus’ relics are preserved in the Cathedral of St Francis Xavier in Kottar in Nagercoil, India.
The Consistory will also consider the causes of Fr César de Bus, founder of the Fathers of Christian Doctrine (Doctrinarians); Fr Luigi Maria Palazzolo, founder of the Sisters of the Poor, known as the Palazzolo Institute; Fr Giustino Maria Russolillo, founder of the Society of Divine Vocations (Vocationists); Maria Francesca di Gesù, founder of the Order of the Capuchin Sisters of Mother Rubatto; and Maria Domenica Mantovani, cofounder and first Superior General of the Little Sisters of the Holy Family.