Acclaimed by Four Centuries: History of the Cause

Official Opening of the Cause


On February 22 and 23, 1984, a second organizational meeting was held in the Diocesan Chancery in Savannah, at which the Bishop, the Postulator and the Canonical Consultant were joined by the three members of the Historical Commission.


Also present were Father Patrick Adams, as a representative of the Franciscan Order as presently constituted in the State of Georgia; and Sister Mary Laurent Duggan, C.S.J., Administrator, and other functionaries of the Diocesan Chancery. The meeting of February 22, 1984, proved to be a milestone in the advance of the Cause. Divinus perfectionis Magister had greatly simplified the canonization process, and in the light of the new Norms it was clear that the Ordinary of the Diocese of Savannah was in the position to declare the Cause officially opened. On February 22, at the second session of the day, Bishop Lessard formally accepted the petition of the Franciscan order, presented by the Postulator, officially opening the process which, it is hoped, will eventually lead to t)le declaration by the Church that the Servants of God, Fray Pedro de Corpa and his Companions, are indeed worthy of the veneration of all the faithful for having given their lives in defense of the sanctity of Christian Marriage. At this meeting the Ordinary also established and administered the oath of office to the Tribunal which in due time will pass judgment on the merits of the Cause. Under the presidency of the Bishop with Rev. Francis J. Nelson, J.C.L., as his Delegate, the Tribunal also includes Rev. Jeremiah McCarthy, J.C.L., Promoter of Justice, and Sister Mary Laurent Duggan, C.S.J., Ph.D., Notary.

”Rule of l221," ch. 16:10-11, in The Writings of Saint Francis, trans. Ignatius Brady (Assisi: Edizioni Porziuncola, 1983) 77. Henceforth, Brady.

St. Bonaventure, Major Life of St. Francis, chap. 12: I, trans. Benen Fahy in Marion A. Habig (ed.), St. Francis of Assisi: Writings and Early Biographies: English Omnibus of the Sources for the Life of St. Francis, 4lh rev. ed. (Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press, 1983), 721. Cited henceforth as Omnibus.

Ibid., chap. 3:1, pp. 646-47.

Thomas of Celano, The First Life of St. Francis, chap. JO: 29, trans. Placid Hermann in Omnibus, 247.

Ibid., chap. I 5, p. 258.

Bonaventure, Major Life, chap. 9:5, in Omnibus, 701.

St. Francis, "Letter Addressed to the Whole Order," in Brady, 121.

CREDIT: REPORTATIO SUPER MARTYRIO SERVORUM DEi PETRI DE CORPA ET SOCIORUM EJUS ANNO DOMINI 1597 IN FLORIDA OCCISORUM (Editio Tertia "Positionis", 7 Maii 2002)
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REPORTATIO SUPER MARTYRIO SERVORUM DEi PETRI DE CORPA ET SOCIORUM EJUS ANNO DOMINI 1597 IN FLORIDA OCCISORUM (Editio Tertia "Positionis", 7 Maii 2002)
The First Georgia Missions: Our Southern Catholic Heritage, Dr. Paul Thigpen and Katherine Ragan. Illustrations by Pamela Gardner, based on the retablo by Dan Nichols. This retablo is part of the parish patrimony of Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church in Jasper, Georgia

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