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Old 12-06-2018, 11:41 PM
Duffs Duffs is offline
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Default Miracle Babies

G.K. Chesterton could be first English saint since 17th century amid claims of "miracle" births.

renowned author may become England's first saint for 300 years after Catholic couples claimed he answered their prayers for "miracle" children.

G.K Chesterton is best known for his short stories featuring the character Father Brown, a crime solving priest loosely based on the man who was involved in his conversion to Catholicism in 1922.

But now he could become England's first Roman Catholic saint since the 17th century, after an official report examining the strength of his case is published next month.

The Daily Telegraph understands that the document, commissioned by the Bishop of Northampton, will show that Catholics are praying to Chesterton and asking for intercession - his intervention in their lives.

It will also dispute claims that Chesterton held anti-Semitic views and used Jewish character tropes in his work.

After the report is published, the Bishop will decide whether to open a ‘cause’ with the Vatican, which begins the formal investigation into the extent of Chesterton’s holiness and the sanctity of his life.

Pope Francis may look favourably on the application, having reportedly been a member of the G.K. Chesterton Society in his home country of Argentina.

At a later stage of the canonisation process, the Vatican will look for evidence that he has performed posthumous miracles by answering prayers.

The report's findings show that infertile couples, in particular, are said to have singled out Chesterton, himself childless, to ask for miracle conceptions, said Canon John Udris, who compiled the report.

“Very interestingly, I have noticed people saying that they are praying for him,” he said.

“Because they didn’t have any children, Frances and Gilbert [Chesterton], so they are finding him as a bit of a go-to person, if for example a couple is infertile and looking to have a child.”

“[Miracles] will be, if the cause is opened, down the line, what will people be looking for. And of course, people have already been feeding back,” Canon Udris said.

Chesterton was an eminent writer, and produced hundreds of stories, books, essays and plays.

His works of Christian apologetics are highly regarded, and he was eventually knighted by Pope Pius XI before his death in 1936.

Opponents of G.K. Chesterton’s canonisation point to alleged anti-Semitic views he expressed in his lifetime, including the presentation of Jews as greedy or cowardly in his literary works.

Later in his life, Chesterton said that Jews should have to wear distinctive dress so that they could be identified, and opposed the defendant Alfred Dreyfus in a trial widely perceived to be an anti-Semitic miscarriage of justice.

Canon Udris told The Daily Telegraph that while presenting the views of “people who have hesitations, reservations, and actually who are dead set against the cause” is crucial to his report, his personal view is that “wasn’t a racist bone in his body”.

“I won’t be making any recommendations, although he [Bishop Doyle] knows and I’ve made no bones about my personal hopes that the cause will be opened,” he said.

How to | Become a saint
At least five years after the death of a notable Christian figure, Catholics can submit a petition to the diocese in which they died, to prepare for the opening of a ‘cause’ with the Catholic Church in Rome.

If the diocesan bishop chooses to open the cause, the person is named a ‘Servant of God’ and further local investigation takes place to establish their virtue.

Seven virtues are established: faith, hope, charity, prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance.

If sufficient holiness is proven, the bishop can recommend that the Pope proclaim the ‘Venerable’ status and ‘heroic virtue’ of the Servant of God, and authorise the printing of prayer cards to encourage Catholics to pray to them.

The ‘Promotor of the Faith’, popularly known as the ‘Devil’s Advocate’, is responsible for disputing the evidence for canonisation, in order to test the candidate’s virtue.

The status of ‘Blessed’ is granted if the Vatican can establish evidence that a miracle has taken place in answer to worshippers’ prayers. For instance, a Catholic with an incurable disease could pray and be healed. At this stage, the Church formally recognises that the individual is in Heaven.

If two miracles are reported, the Pope can designate the individual a saint and assign a feast day to be celebrated anywhere within the church in their honour.

The last English person to begin this process was John Henry Newman in 1958. He achieved Venerable status in 1991 and Blessed status in 2010. He has not yet been made a saint.

The last English saints to be canonised were the so-called Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, who were executed for treason and related offences between 1535 and 1679.

Although the the seventeeth-century martyrs were recognised by Pope Paul VI only in 1970, if Chesterton's clause is successful he would be the first English saint to have lived for more than 300 years.

The process of canonisation must begin at least five years after a person’s death, except for in exceptional circumstances decided by the Pope, such as the canonisation of Mother Theresa.

It usually takes at least fifty years, and the Vatican must find evidence that at least two miracles have been performed.

Chesterton’s grave is in Beaconsfied, Buckinghamshire, and has become a landmark of local interest, although Canon Udris said that residents "wouldn't have conceived of him in any sense as a candidate for a sainthood”, and that much of the pressure for his canonisation had come from abroad.

Members of the Argentinian Chesterton society and supporters in the United States and Canada were the first to petition the Bishop of Northampton to begin the canonisation process in 2013.

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Old 12-06-2018, 11:45 PM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 52,571

It's such a tragedy that Britain's Got Talent wasn't around in this guy's era.
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