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Venerable Coínta Jáuregui: “Always and in every way good"

The saints are the sacramental expression of the ideal of holiness that the whole community of the followers of the Lord are called to make.

June 2015 | Alberto Ramírez Zuluaga (Bolivia) | Spirituality

January 23 of this year, the Company of Mary joyfully received the news declared by the Holy See in the decree recognizing the "heroism" of the virtues of Mother Coínta Osés Jáuregui, a Spanish religious of the Company of Mary who lived between 1875 and 1954. This decree was given by Pope Francis on the 22nd of the same month after receiving the favorable report from the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato. The declaration as Venerable Mother Coínta, Servant of God clears the way for her beatification and canonization. This normally occurs as a result of the recognition of a proven miracle in each of these stages.

The meaning of the Church´s solemn proclamation of a person´s sanctity can be better understood if one takes into account what has been the practice throughout history. In the early centuries of Christianity this practice was an act by which the veneration rendered to people recognized as saints was approved in the particular churches. Originally they were martyrs. Approval of the homage rendered was the responsibility of bishops. Later in the middle age, we know that this practice was no longer limited to the approval of the cult of martyrs. It was extended to those whom the Christian community recognized as intercessors with God by virtue of their merits as models of Christian life, for having practiced virtues to a heroic degree. With the passage of time this recognition became a duty of the Pope´s ministry. However, it was not until the seventeenth century, under the pontificate of Pope Urban VIII, that this prerogative was fully recognized by him. The criteria for the proclamation of sainthood that occurred in the course of the Church´s history were several: first of all, martyrdom, then heroic virtues (and in some cases the orthodoxy of writings), and finally performing miracles, especially miracles of healing the sick. The Pope can certainly dispense the criterion of miracles, as was recently demonstrated by Pope Francis regarding the canonization of Pope John XXIII.


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Alberto Ramírez: Priest of the Archdiocese of Medellín. Doctor in Theology. Professor at the Bolivariana Pontifical University and CELAM Chaplain of the Company of Mary + March 31, 2015.



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