Beatification of first M’lurean Messenger begins

Beatification of first M’lurean Messenger begins

Bishop Most Rev Dr Peter Paul Saldanha seals the documents connected to Servant of God Raymond Francis Camillus Mascarenhas.

The closing session of the Diocesan inquiry of the cause of Beatification and Canonisation of Raymond Francis Camillus Mascarenhas, the first Mangalurean Servant of God, was held at St Sebastian Church, Bendoor, on Wednesday.

The event also marks a milestone in the history of the Diocese of Mangalore, as there is greater hope of Mangaluru soon having its own saint. Servant of God Mascarenhas was the founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Little Flower of Bethany.

In his presidential address, Mangaluru Bishop Rev Dr Peter Paul Saldanha portrayed Mascarenhas as a holy and committed priest of the Diocese of Mangalore. He highlighted four main aspects of Mascarenhas’ priestly life: his commitment to the priestly vocation with great pastoral zeal, his love for the Word of God and Eucharist, his new vision for Church and the society and his sacrificial love for the poor and the neglected particularly girls. He emphasised that Mascarenhas is an inspiration to people.

Rev Fr Naveen Pinto, the notary, present the documents to the Episcopal Delegate – Rev Fr Henry Sequeira. Rev Fr John Mendonca, the Promoter of Justice, declared ‘no objection’ in transmitting the documents to the Holy See. Thereafter, the officials connected with the responsibilities of the Board of Inquiry took an oath declaring that they have faithfully fulfilled their tasks.

The Episcopal Delegate Rev Fr Henry Sequeira authenticated the integrity of the documents and handed them over to the Bishop. The notary read out the minutes of the entire procedure. The authenticated minutes were inserted into the three packages. Thereafter, the Bishop officially sealed the suitcases containing the three sets of documents. The Bishop decreed the closing of the Diocesan Inquiry.

The Bishop then entrusted Rev Fr Victor George D’Souza, the chancellor, with the original set of the documents – the Archetype – arranged in 15 packages to be placed in the archives of the Diocese of Mangalore. The other two sets, known as the Transcript and the Public Copy, arranged in 30 packages, were entrusted to Sr Lillis Kattakayam, the officially appointed carrier under oath. She was instructed to send the same to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Vatican City through the Nunciature in New Delhi for further study of the life and virtues of Raymond Mascarenhas.

It may be recalled that, in 2007, Sr Jyoti B S, the Superior General of the Congregation through the officially appointed Postulator Sr Lillis Kattakayam, presented the petition (Libellus) to the Bishop of Mangalore, requesting to initiate the Cause of Beatification and Canonisation of the Cause of Msgr Raymond Francis Camillus Mascarenhas.

The Diocesan Inquiry of the Cause was opened on August 17, 2008 by Most Rev Dr Aloysius P D’Souza, then Bishop of Mangalore. During the past 11 years, the Board of Inquiry interviewed 101 eye witnesses and hearsay witnesses.

The Historical Commission members Rev Fr J B Saldanha (convener), Sr Mariette, (secretary) and Rev Fr Peter Mascarenhas M M S collected a large number of documents connected with the life of the Servant of God visiting 90 archives and libraries from all over India and Rome.

All these materials are now sent to Rome for further studies.