The Vatican announced Wednesday that Pope Francis has recognized a second miracle allowing five people on the path to sainthood to be canonized, the most prominent being Bl. Pope Paul VI and Bl. Oscar Romero.
Though no date has yet been announced, both Paul VI and Oscar Romero are expected to be canonized together during the Synod of Bishops in October.
Apart from his role in overseeing the Second Vatican Council, Paul VI is most widely know for his landmark encyclical Humanae Vitae, which was published in 1968 and reaffirmed the Church’s teaching against contraception in wake of the sexual revolution. This year marks the 50th anniversary the historic encyclical, making the canonization of the author all the more relevant.
Both miracles attributed to Paul VI’s intercession involve the healing of an unborn child.
Bl. Oscar Romero, who was beatified by Pope Francis May 23, 2015, in El Salvador, was the archbishop of the nation’s capital city of San Salvador. He was shot while celebrating Mass March 24, 1980, during the birth of a civil war between leftist guerrilla forces and the dictatorial government of the right.
An outspoken critic of the violence and injustices being committed at the time, Romero was declared a martyr who was killed in hatred of the faith for his vocal defense of human rights.
During the meeting, Francis advanced a total of 13 saints’ causes, recognizing at least one person as a martyr and allowing one religious sister to be beatified.
Additionally, he recognized the martyrdom of Slavic laywoman Anna Kolesárová. Born in Vysoká nad Uhom, Slovakia in 1928, she was killed by a drunken Soviet soldier near the end of the Second World War in 1944 for refusing his sexual advances.
At the time, Soviet troops were passing through Kolesárová’s district, which was then a part of Hungary, and occupied her village on the way. When one soldier entered her home and found the family in hiding, he attempted to sleep with Kolesárová, threatening her with death if she did not comply.
However, raised in a pious Catholic family, Kolesárová refused, and as a result was shot in front of her family at the age of 16.
Full story at Catholic News Agency.