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October 2007 The process for sainthood of Father Stanley Francis Rother is opened with the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City convening a tribunal. Members of the tribunal are sworn in and begin the work of reviewing material from the life of Fr. Rother.
July 20, 2010 A closing Mass is held in Oklahoma City in celebration of the completion of the tribunal's work. The material is sent to the Vatican, specifically the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
June 2012 Archdiocese of Oklahoma City receives word that the Congregation for the Causes of Saints has named an official Relator (Dr. Andrea Ambrosi) for the Cause of Father Stanley Rother. Dr. Ambrosi, the postulator for Fr. Rother's cause, prepares a Position Paper called a Positio (the distillation of all of the historical research and testimony that was painstakingly gathered to examine the course of Father Rother's life and heroic death while serving as a parish priest at the Oklahoma mission in Guatemala).
September 3, 2014 Archbishop Paul Coakley presents the Positio on the Servant of God, Fr. Stanley Rother to the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome, Cardinal Angelo Amato.
September 11, 2014 Cardinal Amato informs Archbishop Coakley that the Congregation will begin their study of the Cause in early 2015. At the end of their study, they make a recommendation to Pope Francis.
June 2015 Theological Commission at the Congregation of the Causes of Saints in Rome votes to formally recognize Servant of God Fr. Stanley Francis Rother a martyr declaring he died odium fidei (in hatred of the faith).
December 2, 2016 Pope Francis recognizes martyrdom of Fr. Rother making him the first declared martyr of the United States.
September 23, 2017 The ceremony of the Rite of Beatification is celebrated in downtown Oklahoma City by Cardinal Angelo Amato making Fr. Rother the first priest in the United States to obtain the title Blessed.
July 28, 2018 First Feast Day of Blessed Stanley Rother is celebrated by Archbishop Paul Coakley, Archbishop Emeritus Eusebius Beltran, Abbot Lawrence Stasyszen, and clergy from the Archdiocese at Holy Trinity Catholic Church on the 37th anniversary of his martyrdom.
Archdiocese names Deacon Norm Mejstrik Director of the Cause of Canonization of Blessed Stanley Rother. He is in charge of information concerning possible miracles due to the intercession of Blessed Stanley Rother.
The following article summarizes the process for becoming a Saint. As Bl. Stanley Rother’s cause is advanced through the process we will update the status here.
–Article taken from the USCCB website explaining the process
The process of declaring one a saint in the Catholic Church is called canonization. The canonization process is a canonical (Church law) procedure by which the Church through the Pope solemnly declares a Catholic to be united with God in heaven, an intercessory to God on behalf of the living, and worthy of public and universal veneration.
A cause of canonization examines a person’s life and death to determine if they were either martyred or lived a virtuous life. Every cause of canonization has two phases: the diocesan and Roman phase. The diocese responsible for opening a cause is the diocese in which the person died/was martyred. The diocese, religious order, association or lay person(s) requesting (petitioning) for the cause asks the diocesan bishop, through a person known as the postulator to open an investigation into the martyrdom or life of the person.
The diocesan bishop investigates how the person lived a heroic virtuous life, exemplifying the virtues of faith, hope and love through the calling of witnesses and the theological examination of the candidates’ writings. If the cause is based on martyrdom, the diocesan bishop investigates the circumstances surrounding the alleged martyrdom, which is also done through the calling of witnesses to the martyrdom and the examination of the candidates’ life.
Servant of God Fr. Stanley Rother is declared a Martyr September 2015
Once the diocesan investigation is complete, the documentation (evidence) that has been collected is sent to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints and the Roman phase begins. The first step in the Roman phase is the examination of the diocesan documentation. If the congregation’s theologians find the documentation convincing, it is sent for review by the cardinal and bishop members of the congregation. If they also find the documentation favorable, it is sent to the pope. With the pope’s approval a decree is issued stating that the person lived a virtuous life thereby conferring the title “Venerable”on the person.
The next step in the process is being named “Blessed.” For beatification, a miracle must be attributed to the Venerable. The miracle is verified through an examination by a team of medical experts and theologians. The three traditional standards for judging the authenticity of a miracle are: complete – meaning a total healing of the disease, it is not enough for the person to “just” feel better; instantaneous – meaning the healing occurred all at once and not over the course of several days or months; and durable – meaning the person remains permanently free from the illness that afflicted them. Once the miracle has been verified, the pope issues a decree declaring the miracle and the person receives the title of “Blessed.” The pope can dispense, though he does not always do so, from the requirement of a miracle for the beatification of a martyr.
Declared Blessed on September 23, 2017
A second miracle must be attributed to the Blessed in order for him or her to be canonized a saint. A proven miracle is required, even for martyrs, for canonization. The verification of the second miracle follows the same procedure as the first. Once the person is declared a saint, he or she is worthy of universal veneration by the Church.
There are many steps to be named a saint in the Church and the canonization process is lengthy and detailed. This process ensures that the role models held up as witnesses to Christ and the Gospel as worthy of our emulation.