18 February 2009

Father Damien to be canonised. Too many founder-saints?

Zenit reports that ten ‘blesseds’ will be canonised soon. The best known of the ten is Blessed Damien de Veuster SSCC (1840-1899), ‘Father Damien’, the Belgian priest who ministered to the lepers of Molokai, Hawaii, becoming a leper himself. When I was still in kindergarten in Stanhope Street, Dublin, Sister Margaret Stanislaus of the Irish Sisters of Charity, now known as the Religious Sisters of Charity , often spoke to us about Father Damien.

Seven of the ten founded religious congregations. I don't doubt in any way the Church's decision that these ten people are worthy of being called saints but I wonder if the Church hasn’t been canonising too many such people.
Is founding a religious congregation the predominant model of holiness?

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