Pope Francis advanced the sainthood causes of Holy Cross Fr Patrick Peyton and St John Paul II’s mentor, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski.
The pope approved the decrees recognising their heroic virtues during an audience on 18th December with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes.
Fr Peyton, known worldwide as ‘The Rosary Priest’, was a Catholic media pioneer in the 1940s, using radio and later television to produce popular programs featuring Hollywood stars and other celebrities to promote family prayer.
His ministry produced more than 600 radio and television programs and 10,000 broadcasts. The priest also conducted rosary crusades for millions of people in dozens of countries. He had two especially famous mottos: “The family that prays together stays together” and “A world at prayer is a world at peace.”
Acknowledged by Poland’s ex-communists and anti-communists as one of their country’s greatest modern leaders, Cardinal Wyszynski was credited by former President Lech Walesa with laying the groundwork for the rise of the Polish trade union, Solidarity, and the eventual fall of communism in Eastern Europe.
Among his proteges was the future St John Paul II. When then-Fr Karol Wojtyla was appointed auxiliary bishop of Krakow, the cardinal presented him to a group of priests, saying “Habemus papam” (“We have a pope”).
Picture: Pope Francis advanced the sainthood causes of Holy Cross Fr Patrick Peyton and St John Paul II’s mentor, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski. (CNS/composite photo from Family Theater Productions and Arturo Mari, L’Osservatore Romano).