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Parish Celebrates Beatification of Oblates’ Founder

Live + Jesus

Dear parishioners and friends of Holy Infant,

September 22, 2012 was a joyous day for the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. Fr. Louis Brisson, the founder of the Oblates and the Oblate Sisters, was beatified by Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, representing Pope Benedict XVI. The beatification ceremony will take place at the cathedral in the French city of Troyes, where Fr. Brisson lived and where he founded the Oblates in 1876.

The cause for Father Brisson was opened in 1938, and in December 2009, Pope Benedict XVI approved the decree from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints declaring Fr. Brisson’s life as one of heroic virtue. This completed the first of the three stages in the process of canonization. A sign from God was now required for the cause of Fr. Brisson to advance to the second stage, beatification. (The first beatification according to the solemn form used today was that of St. Francis de Sales in 1662.)

In December 2011, Pope Benedict XVI, following the investigation of a medical commission, a theological commission and the recommendation of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, confirmed a 1953 miracle attributed to the intercession of Father Brisson. The miracle concerned Carlos Luis Penaherrera, an eight-year old boy in Ecuador whose foot was crushed by a tractor. Doctors believed he would never walk again. But the local Oblate Sisters arranged for a novena to Fr. Brisson. The grave wound healed without therapy or orthopedic devices. Amazingly, Carlos moved to this country and later was able to enlist in the U.S. Air Force.* The Oblate Sisters kept all the medical documentation as well as the testimony of doctors, church officials and eye witnesses for the day when it would be needed for Fr. Brisson’s cause. That day came in December 2009, and the miracle has led to Father Brisson’s beatification on September 22 of this year.

The third and final stage of the cause of Father Brisson is canonization. A second miracle is required by the church for Blessed Louis Brisson to be declared a saint.

The Oblates of St. Francis de Sales have served Holy Infant since the parish was established in 1970, and the Oblate community has been blessed by the support and kindness of the parishioners over these more than forty years. It is appropriate, therefore, that together we should celebrate Father Brisson’s beatification.

As the psalmist proclaimed, “This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad.” (Psalm 118, v24).

God be blessed!

 Fr. Dave Devlin, OSFS