B. Enquiry regarding Miracle
Like the process on virtues, there is a separate enquiry on the miracle alleged to have been done by the intercession of the Servant of God. The Postulator has to be specially appointed for this purpose. He submits to the bishop of the diocese where the miracle took place, a detailed and accurate report of the alleged miracle. He also submits a list of the witnesses and all the documents related to the healing (clinical, medical). The process will be conducted as the one on Virtues. When there is a physical healing, there will be a medical doctor in the Board of Enquiry. The person who experienced the alleged miraculous healing must be examined by two doctors (known as doctors ab inspectione). The translation of the testimonies will be done into an official language. The Arch type will be kept in the diocesan archives and the Transcript and Public copy will be sent to Rome.
II Roman Phase A Enquiry on the Virtues
When all documents are received, the Congregation examines whether all documents are in order and the Congregation will give a decree of its validity. The Roman phase will be guided by the Roman Postulator who will reside in Rome. The Congregation will appoint a relator who evaluates the progress of the Cause. Relator, with helpers if needed, makes a profound study on the virtues (or martyrdom) of the Servant of God. The Roman Postulator prepares a Positio, an objective study on the life, holiness and virtues of the Servant of God. It includes the history of the Canonization process; explanation on the sources and criterion of study; a biographical sketch on the Servant of God; a description on the fame of holiness of the Servant of God. If it is martyrdom, Positio will describe the reason and the situations of martyrdom. Theological advisers, under the leadership of Promoter of Justice– these are all appointed by the Congregation- discusse this Positio in a special congress. They study, with the help of experts, whether the Servant of God had practised virtues (martyrdom) in a heroic way. This will be decided on the basis of a two third vote. The documents, written opinions of the theological advisors and the report of the Promoter of Justice will be given to the Cardinal Prefect and bishop members of the Congregation.
B. 1. Final study
The Cardinal Prefect and the bishop members of the Congregation come together in an ordinary meeting to study on the virtues (or martyrdom) of the Servant of God. The Prefect will appoint a Ponens (chief examiner) to introduce the Cause in the meeting. The Prefect will intimate to the Holy Father of the findings of the meeting. When the Holy Father approves the cause
of the of the Servant of God, a decree stating this matter will be issued. From that day onwards,
the Servant of God will be known as venerable.
2 Recognition of Miracle
Only after the declaration of the Servant of God as venerable, the study on miracle will start. The
Congregation will prepare a Positio on miracle. Two doctors appointed by the Congregation will study the miracle. If at least one of them acknowledges it as a miracle, then a five member committee, including the above two doctors, will examine the miracle. If three members in the
committee give a positive opinion, miracle will be approved. As in the process on Virtues, the Congregation will get the help of experts in this regard also. A detailed report is given to the Holy
Father and the title blessed is given by him.
3. Blessed and Saint
Beatification (declaring the venerable as blessed) can take place in Rome or in the country where the Venerable lived. With this, the blessed is worthy of public veneration. This veneration is given only in places and institutions connected with the Servant of God. A further miracle is needed so that the blessed is acknowledged as Saint. All the steps in the first process for miracle must be followed here too. When the blessed is canonized, his/her name will be added in the diptych (liturgical calendar). LG 50 of II Vatican Council says that the saints are the sure paths to union with Christ. Fr Antony Thachuparambil’s life is a real testimony of his love of God and his love for each one of his society. He is a great missionary, ecumenist, ardent pastoral worker, a well known retreat preacher. Above all, he was holy in his word and deed, throughout his life. Let us pray that the Servant of God will be soon worthy of veneration of the altar.