Rosary priest and Polish cardinal on sainthood path

Fr Patrick Peyton at a Rosary Crusade rally in the Philippines in 1953 (Wikimedia)

Pope Francis has advanced the sainthood causes of Irish/US Catholic media pioneer Fr Patrick Peyton and St John Paul II’s mentor, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, CNS reports.

The Pope approved the decrees recognising their heroic virtues during an audience on Monday with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes.

The Pope also recognised the miracles needed for the beatification of: Jesuit Fr Tiburcio Arnaiz Munoz of Spain; Fr Jean-Baptiste Fouque of France; and Sr Maria Carmen Rendiles Martinez of Venezuela. He also recognised the martyrdom of Fr Teodoro Illera del Olmo, a member of the Congregation of St Peter in Chains, and 15 companions, who were killed during the Spanish Civil War in 1936 and 1937.

Fr Peyton, known worldwide as “The Rosary Priest”, was a Catholic media pioneer in the 1940s, using radio and later television to produce popular programs featuring Hollywood stars and other celebrities to promote family prayer.

His ministry produced more than 600 radio and television programs and 10,000 broadcasts. The priest also conducted rosary crusades for millions of people in dozens of countries. He had two especially famous mottos: “The family that prays together stays together” and “A world at prayer is a world at peace”.

Fr Peyton emigrated from Ireland to the US in 1928 when he was 19, and he was ordained in the Congregation of the Holy Cross in 1941.

His first assignment was as chaplain in Albany, New York, where he launched a project to promote praying the rosary and family life. He had a special devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary after attributing his recovery from tuberculosis to her intercession.

He founded Holy Cross Family Ministries, which includes Family Rosary, Family Theater Productions, Father Peyton Family Institute and Family Rosary International.

Fr Peyton died in 1992.

Cardinal Wyszynski was primate of Poland from 1949 until his death from cancer in 1981. He was Poland’s youngest bishop when he was installed as archbishop of Warsaw and Gniezno during the imposition of communist rule.

Acknowledged by Poland’s ex-communists and anti-communists as one of their country’s greatest modern leaders, Cardinal Wyszynski was credited by former president Lech Walesa with laying the groundwork for the rise of the Polish trade union, Solidarity, and the eventual fall of communism in Eastern Europe.

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Polish cardinal, Rosary priest among sainthood causes moving forward (CNS)

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