Pope Benedict XVI canonized Blessed Simon of Lipnica in the Vatican on Sunday June 3. During the same celebration another three saints from France, Malta and Holland were canonized reported Dziennik Polski. Canonization is a process in the Roman Catholic Church by which a person is classified as a saint.
Over a thousand pilgrims from the Malopolska region participated in St. Peter?s Square holy mass, including: the President of Poland, Lech Kaczynski, with his wife; the Archbishop of Krakow, Stanislaw Dziwisz; the Arc Bishop of Poland, Jozef Glemp; and the Bishop of Tarnow (Lipnica is under Tarnow church administration) Wiktor Skworc. Holy Father Benedict XVI received the presidential couple in St. Peter?s Basilica after the celebration.
Father Simon is one of Krakow?s patrons, as well as a patron of young academic people, women giving birth and women who have problems delivering during pregnancies.
Saint Simon lived in Krakow in the 15th Century. He was a Polish Franciscan who gave his life for those suffering from the plague. Simon was born in Lipnica Murowana, a small village 60 kilometers from Krakow located in the south of Poland. The exact year of his birth is unknown. It is estimated that Simon was born between the years 1435-1440.
To attend the Jagiellonian University he moved to Krakow in 1454. Inspired by the preaching of the Franciscan St. John of Capistrano, in 1457 Simon asked to be received into the convent of the Friars Minor at the convent of St. Bernardine, in Krakow. He was given the honor of being the first of the Friars Minor to preach at the Wawel Cathedral, the home of Poland?s monarchy in 1463.
The love of Simon for his brothers and sisters was manifested in an extraordinary way during the last year of his life, when an epidemic of plague broke out in Krakow. The city was under the scourge of the disease from July 1482-January 6, 1483. The Franciscans of the convent of St. Bernardine tirelessly did all they could to care for the sick as true consoling angels, informs the Vatican?s Internet service.
Simon held it to be a ?propitious time? to exercise charity and to fulfill the offering of his own life. He went everywhere comforting, giving succour, administering the sacraments and announcing the consoling Word of God to the dying. He himself soon became infected. He suffered the pain of the disease with extraordinary patience and, near his end, expressed his desire to be buried under the threshold of the church so that all could trample on him. Simon died in Krakow on July 18, 1482.
From this date, the cult of the Blessed Simon started developing in the Stradom area (near the Kazimierz district) and at his birthplace.
Simon of Lipnica was beatified by Pope Innocent XI on February 24, 1685. Beatification is a step in the canonization process and it should not be confused with canonization.
Canonization takes place later and only after further study of the Blessed?s life and virtue and the approbation of an additional miracle attributed to his intercession.
At the time of canonization, the Pope declares that the Blessed is among the Saints in heaven and inscribes the person?s name on the canon ? official list of the Church?s Saints.
The cause of Simon?s canonization, taken up by Holy Father Pius XII on the June 25, 1948, has reached its happy ending on Sunday, following the recognition of his heroic virtues and of the miraculous cure which occurred in Krakow in 1943 and attributed to the intercession of the Blessed. The respective Decrees were promulgated by Holy Father Benedict XVI on December 19, 2005 and December 16, 2006.
The thumb of the Saint is placed in the Simon?s chapel at the Bernardines monastery at Stradom Street in Krakow. On April 27, the tomb has been opened for the first time since 1957. 120 capsules with relics have been prepared. The cult of Simon is celebrated in over 100 places, not only in Poland.
The special thankful mass for canonization is planned for July 18 in Lipnica Murowana.
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