By Christina Hermoso
Mother Francisca Del Espiritu Santo De Fuentes, founder of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, has been declared by the Vatican as ‘venerable,’ two steps away from sainthood.
Mother Francisca Del Espiritu Santo De Fuentes (1647-1711). (Roy Lagarde / CBCP / MANILA BULLETIN)
Pope Francis recognized the Filipina nun’s life and works that qualified her to be declared as venerable, said a Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines News post. The Vatican made the announcement on July 6.
A miracle would have to be attributed to Mother Francisca’s intercession in order for her to be beatified. Another miracle would be needed for the nun to finally be canonized and officially declared a saint of the Roman Catholic Church.
Mother Francisca’s path to sainthood started in December 2002 when the Vatican had been petitioned to open the Cause of the nun. In March 2003, the petition was granted by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
The Decree of Validity on the Diocesan Inquiry was granted in June 2007 which allowed the writing of the “positio” (position) on the life, virtues, and fame of sanctity of Mother Francisca. The completion of the “positio” was in 2012. The Mother Francisca Commission received a copy of the “positio” in December 2014 with the favorable evaluation from the Historical Experts of the Vatican.
Born in Intramuros, Manila in 1647, Mother Francisca del Espíritu Santo de Fuentes died on August 24, 1711 in Manila. She was buried in the Church of the Collegio de San Juan de Letran. Her tomb was over the steps of the main altar on the Gospel side. A website dedicated to Del Espiritu Santo said that she was a "woman of unwavering faith who carried out her mission with dauntless courage and trust.”
Pope Francis, in June, also granted a Dominican nun the title of venerable after recognizing the heroic virtues of Mother Maria Beatrice Rosario Arroyo. Born in Iloilo, Arroyo is the founder of the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of the Holy Rosary. She died in June 1957.