19 Dec 2017

Venerable Fr Patrick Peyton - Pope Francis moves an Irish man along the road to canonisation

Via Vatican Radio and National Catholic Register:

Pope Francis on Monday took 27 men and women a step closer to sainthood.  The Pope received Card. Angelo Amato, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and authorized him to promulgate 12 decrees regarding 22 men and 5 women from as many as 8 nations.  They concern 3 miracles, a martyrdom and 8 heroic virtues.  Nineteen candidates, including 3 miracles and the martyrdom of 16,  have been cleared for Beatification, the penultimate stage before Canonization or sainthood.

One cause moving forward is that of Patrick Peyton, now called “Venerable,” who was born in County Mayo, Ireland, Jan. 9, 1909. In 1928 he and an older brother sailed to the U.S. to join his elder sisters who had already emigrated and were living and working in Pennsylvania. 

Peyton worked as a sort-of janitor at St. Stanislaus Cathedral for several years before deciding to pursue the priesthood with his brother Thomas.

In 1938, while still a seminarian, he fell gravely ill with tuberculosis. Thinking he might die, his older sister brought him Marian novenas and reminded him of the Blessed Mother and the power of the Holy Rosary.

Encouraged by his sister and a Catholic priest, he gave himself over to God through the Blessed Virgin Mary. Soon, doctors discovered that the spots in his lungs had disappeared; and in 1941 he and his brother were ordained priests of the Congregation of the Holy Cross.

He was one of the first pioneers of evangelism via mass media, using radio, film, advertising and eventually television, utilizing the help of Hollywood celebrities and artists. He is most known for his public rallies to encourage families to make pledges to pray the Rosary together, which were attended by thousands of people.

He founded the “Family Rosary Crusade” and popularized the phrase: “The family that prays together stays together.” In addition to working in the U.S., he also led missions in Latin America and in the Philippines.

Peyton died June 3, 1992 in San Pedro, California, and is buried on the grounds of Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts.

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