Pope clears the way for the canonizations of John Paul II, John XXIII

Pope Francis signed a decree clearing the way for the canonization of Blessed John Paul II, left, and has asked cardinals to vote on the canonization of Blessed John XXIII, right.

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis signed a decree clearing the way for the canonization of Blessed John Paul II and has decided also to ask the world's cardinals to vote on the canonization of Blessed John XXIII, even in the absence of a miracle.

After Pope Francis met July 5 with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, the Vatican published a list of decrees the pope approved related to Blessed John Paul's canonization and 11 other sainthood causes.

Honoring St. Peter Claver

Seven-year-old Ryan Harper, a Junior Daughter of the Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary, talked with her grandmother Carla Harper, not pictured, following a Mass dedicating the new Shrine of St. Peter Claver at St. Matthew the Apostle Church on June 23.

The saint hailed as the apostle to the blacks has a new place of honor here in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

A new shrine to St. Peter Claver has been erected at St. Matthew the Apostle Church in the historic Ville neighborhood of north St. Louis. Auxiliary Bishop Edward Rice presided at a blessing and dedication of the new shrine at a June 23 Mass.

Parishioners have said they believe it is the only shrine of its kind in North America.

Local educator writes children's series on the saints of North America

Barb Yoffie, coordinator of religious education at St. Clement of Rome Parish in Des Peres, recently authored several children’s books on the saints of North America with artist Katherine Borgatti through Liguori Publications. Here she read from one of her books during an interview at the school June 17.

For years, Barb Yoffie has been called an expert of sorts on the saints. So when the longtime Catholic educator approached Liguori Publications about writing a a series on the saints for young children, the Catholic publishing house located just south of St. Louis was eager to take her up on her offer.

Italian media report step toward Blessed John Paul’s canonization

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Although the process is not complete and is supposed to be secret at this point, Italian media are reporting that the canonization of Blessed John Paul II is another step closer.

The Italian news agency ANSA and many Italian papers say Vatican sources confirmed June 18 that the theological consultants to the Congregation for Saints' Causes affirmed that the description of prayers and events surrounding an alleged miracle provide evidence that the healing was accomplished through the intercession of the late pope.

CATHOLIC BY GRACE | Spiritual challenges are similar to climbing a tower

The Alpine Tower is a rite of passage. The name alone strikes fear in the hearts of student campers.

In 2012 I chaperoned 17 students on their Camp Lakewood adventure. The students stood at the base of the tower and stared at the 50-foot vertical structure.

The most athletic boys had the greatest mental challenge. They silently assessed the tower from all angles. They categorized the ropes and swapped notes. Taking the easiest way up would look bad. They had images to uphold. But choosing the most difficult way up might mean not making it at all. That would be tragic.

'Madre Lupita' remembered for her ministry to poor, sick

GUADALARJARA, Mexico -- A shy woman stopped to pray in front of statue of Blessed Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala while visiting the Santa Margarita Hospital. She knew little about the founder of the facility, who will be canonized May 12, but, like many, she had heard stories from hospital patients who say the soon-to-be-saint still walks the halls providing care, attention and miracles to those in need.

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