03 Step of The Cause : The Beatification

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03 – Step of The Cause : The Beatification

We saw last month that Mother Thérèse was declared Venerable on May 12, 1935, the day of the patronal feast of the "Pope of the Cenacle" (Achille Ratti, Pope since 1922 under the name of Pius XI).

In order for her to become Blessed, all that was needed was to prove two physical miracles obtained through the intercession of Mother Thérèse (You will know more about these two miracles in the succeeding months).

Slide show

Click on the first image, then use the arrows to see the other images and their comments.

The box was closed with a white ribbon (we can still see a piece of it) held by wax seals representing the coat of arms of Cardinal Maurin, archbishop of Lyon. The purpose of the seals was to ensure that the box had not been opened, and therefore that the volume was authentic and untouched.
It was then returned to the Cenacle after his death.
For the process to continue, two miracles of physical healing had to be recognized.
These volumes bring together the documents that enabled the Congregation of the Rites to study the miracles: Positio super miraculis ( 1950), Novissima positio super miraculis ( 1951). The Positio super tuto (1951) prepared the decree “di Tuto” by which Pius XII declared that the Beatification can proceed ( March 27).
But the Holy See did not anticipate that on that day, elections in France would be held. With these elections, Christian Democrats could lose influence and the Communist Party could gain votes. The Holy See urged Catholics to vote to avoid this situation. It was therefore not possible for French pilgrims to be in Rome on that day. The Beatification was postponed to November 4, 1951.
Pilgrims from all over France flocked to the celebration. A special train was organized: 230 pilgrims left from Lyon, joined by those coming from Geneva, Paris, Belgium and the Netherlands, 80 pilgrims rode in Turin, 3 wagons came from Marseilles.
in which was summarized the life of Mother Thérèse, her virtues and the miracles obtained through her intercession.
During the following Mass, the Prayers were proper to Mother Thérèse. It was the first time that the Church addressed God through her intercession.
Two large paintings represent the two miracles that led to the Beatification.
Then the reliquary containing one relic of Mother Thérèse was presented to the Pope by the R.F. Michel Roger Jeuné, Sulpician, Postulator of the Cause, and Msgr. Alfred Couderc, Bishop of Viviers. The reliquary, made of silver on a precious wood base represented the birthplace of Mother Thérèse, Le Mas, in the municipality of Sablières (Ardèche). “I ask God that we always see ourselves as the smallest in the Church of God.” Mother Thérèse Couderc
The newspaper was cut out by the Sisters.
The next day, Pius XII gave a private audience to the pilgrims of the Beatification. The Holy Father arrived in the Hall of Blessings en “sedia gestatoria” to be more visible to the faithful.
After a speech in which he spoke (in French) of the beginnings of the Congregation and of Mother Thérèse, Pius XII greeted Mother Jeanne Corneau, Superior General, and her Council.
Mother Corneau's successor is on the right.
Gifts were then offered to the Holy Father: 18 portable altars and 50 ornaments for the Missions. Others came from the most distant Cenacles: a carved altarpiece and small rosewood characters were samples of Malagasy art; a caiman’s skin was sent by Brazil.
Mother Thérèse stands in front of a statue of Our Lady of the Cenacle. She is surrounded by women of three ages representing three aspects of the Cenacle apostolate (symbolized by the girl's First Communion dress, the books of Christian Doctrine and the Spiritual Exercises) which is addressed to all. In the distance, are the bell towers of the basilica of Lalouvesc where her body rests since 2018 at the sight of all.
For the Beatification, 250 Sisters of the Cenacle came to represent all the Provinces of the Congregation, some 60 members of the Couderc family; representatives of the birthplace of Mother Thérèse and Lalouvesc, etc.
For three days, in the Jesuit Church of the Gesu, masses and panegyrics (sermons praising the new Blessed) were said in honor of Mother Thérèse. The first day was dedicated to French-speaking pilgrims, the second to Anglophones and the third to Italians
He wrote a biography of Mother Thérèse: “A Great and Humble Soul”.
Telegram of November 8, 1951: “His Holiness, grateful [for your] filial homage, grants [from] his heart [to] all the Cenacles [of] Europe, [of] the two Americas, [and of] Africa, [as well as to] retreatants and catechized, [a] pledge [of] the special protection [of] your recently glorified Blessed Foundress, [the] Apostolic Blessing implored. " Signed Montini Substitute, that is  Msgr. Giovanni Battista Montini, Substitute of the Secretariat of State (future Pope Paul VI, friend of the Cenacle).