The Beatification of Rev. Basil Moreau, C.S.C.
By Rev. Hugh Cleary, C.S.C.
From the Foreword of Basil Moreau, Founder of Holy Cross
In 1955 the Cause of Father Moreau had been formally opened; by 1957 he was declared “Servant of God,” the first of four stages leading to canonization. On May 10, 1961, the Promoter of the Faith for the Cause submitted to the Congregation of Rites within the Vatican Curia the required supporting documents testifying to Father Moreau’s heroic virtues, which would award him the title Venerable.
However a year later, on October 11,1962, Pope John XXIII convened the Second Vatican Council initiating a period of unprecedented change within the Catholic Church and thereby within the Congregation of Holy Cross. All levels of ecclesial life, including religious communities, experienced dramatic shifts in priorities as the vision of the Council was implemented. Religious congregations were urged to renew themselves in accord with the founding charism of their respective orders.
The Congregation of Holy Cross embraced the Council’s called for period of experimentation with great enthusiasm. In the process, attention shifted away from pursuing the formalities of Father Moreau’s Cause in favor of undertaking a vibrant renewal within the founding charism.
With the Vatican Council’s emphasis on liturgical renewal Pope Paul VI, in 1969, divided the Congregation of Rites into two separate entities: the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The agenda for liturgical renewal was immense; the agenda for the Causes of Saints continued its careful yet laborious study of the relatively few causes it received.
It was not until many years later when Pope John Paul II encouraged a focused emphasis on growth in holiness among God’s people that the work of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints assumed greater prominence in the Church’s consciousness. Following the exhortation to sanctity, the Congregation of Holy Cross once again took up the Cause of Father Moreau where it had been left off in 1961.
On April 12, 2003, the Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints promulgated, in the presence of Pope John Paul II, the decree testifying that the Servant of God Basil Moreau practiced the theological and cardinal virtues to a heroic degree. The Holy Father declared the founder of Holy Cross Venerable.
Pope Benedict XVI’s promulgation of an authorized miracle attributed to the intercession of Father Moreau happened on April 28, 2006. This promulgation completes the beatification process. On September 15, 2007, Venerable Basile-Antoine Marie Moreau was beatified in Le Mans, France, the city where he lived and died, the home of the Congregation’s Mother Church, and the sacred place where he is buried. Now after the Liturgy of Beatification, Father Moreau is called Blessed, completing the third stage of the process leading to canonization.