|Padre Pio is Venerable
by Padre Gerardo Di Flumeri, OFM Cap.
VENERABLE PADRE PIO OF
Padre Pio Venerable the Holy Father has concluded the Process of Beatification. The Vice
Postulator, Father Gerardo explains exactly what took place in this private
December 1997 the decree on the
heroicity of the virtues of the Servant of God, Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, was issued. From
this day forward the Padre was given the right to the title of "Venerable."
The title "Venerable" states only
that the Apostolic See has recognized the heroicity of the virtues of the Servant of God
and has issued the relative decree. It does not authorize any public and ecclesiastical
cult, which the Church usually concedes to Servants of God who have been canonized or only
Before the Code of Canon Law of 1917, the
title "Venerable" was given to a Servant of God after the decree of the
introduction of the cause. The Congregation of rites then prohibited the application of
this title until the decree on the heroicity or martyrdom was issued (26 August 1913).
This prohibition was confirmed in c. 2115, 2 of the Code of 1917.
As regards Padre Pio, here in brief
synthesis are the principal steps which led him to this title.
The diocesan process brought to completion
(1983-1990), the voluminous documentation, collected by the ecclesiastical tribunal and
historic commission, and was consigned to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, who
appointed an official reporter. Overseen by him, after five years of tireless work
(1991-1996), the Postulation drew up the "positio." On 15 December 1996,
synthesized in four volumes and divided in six tomes, the "positio" was
consigned to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, who, in an informal meeting on the
19th, entrusted it to eight theological consultors, in the same Congregation.
The theological Consultors immediately set
to work, reading and studying the vast documentation, on the life, the apostolic work and
virtues of the Servant of God. After five months of intense work they were able to
pronounce their judgment, which they presented in writing. Then on 13 June 1997, there was
a meeting of the special Congress of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints, constituted
according to the Regulation of the same department approved "ad experimentum" by
the Holy Father on 21 March 1983, art. 7 and 22 - by the general Promoter of the Faith,
and the eight theological Consultors, to discuss the heroicity of the virtues of the
Servant of God, Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.
Overseen by the aforesaid Promoter, there
was an extensive and thoroughly examined discussion, in which all the Consultors
pronounced their positive judgment on the Servant of God and confirmed with a written
vote. To the question if they acknowledged the heroicity of the virtues, 9 out of 9,
including the general Promoter of the Faith gave their affirmative vote, "recognizing
in the Servant of God one of the most loved religious figures of this century who they
desired to see raised to the honour of the altars."
The nine votes with the Promoter's report,
were printed in an apposite volume, which together with the tomes of the
"positio" were consigned to the cardinals and bishops, members of the
Congregation for the Causes of Saints, for the last and definitive examination of the
heroicity of virtues. After about three months of study, the cardinals and bishops, met in
the ordinary Congregation, on 21 October 1997, and heard the presentation of the Advocate
of the cause, appointed previously in the person of Mgr Andrea Maria Erba, Bishop of
Velletri-Segni. After the exhaustive presentation of the Advocate, all the cardinals and
bishops present pronounced their favourable view on the heroicity of the virtues of the
Servant of God, Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.
The Holy Father, informed of the positive
result of the two Commissions (the Congress of the theologians and the Congregation of the
cardinals and bishops) approved the positive view pronounced by them and gave his
confirmation and final judgment, formulated in the "Decree on the heroicity of the
virtues," that was read and proclaimed.
From this day forward Padre Pio of
Pietrelcina was given the right to the title of Venerable.
[EWTN- As of 2 May 1999 Padre Pio
has been declared Blessed.]
[From the Voice of Padre Pio, February 1998,
Friary of Our Lady of Grace, 71013 San Giovanni Rotondo, (FG), Italy. Used with permission
of: The National Center for Padre Pio, 2213 Old Route 100, Barto, PA 19504, through which
a subscription may be obtained.]