Path to sainthood delayed by Vatican ruling

We have just been advised that the Congregation for the Causes of Saints has declined our petition for the recognition of a miracle attributed to the intercession of our founder, Meri Hōhepa Suzanne Aubert.

The Vatican medical council has decided a potential miracle attributed to her can be explained by medical science. While very disappointed with this news, it has caused us all to pause and consider the future path of the official process towards her beatification and canonisation.

As you all know, the case for a miracle, was put in 2019 to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Vatican agency responsible for studying sainthood nominations. The Congregation appointed a medical council to study it.

We were confident that the extraordinary healing experienced by the person concerned is a miracle but unfortunately that hasn’t been accepted.

It has been a long journey since the New Zealand’s Catholic bishops approved the introduction of the Cause of Suzanne Aubert’s sainthood in 1997. A formal Diocesan Inquiry was held in 2004, when the available evidence for promoting her as a saint was gathered. The results were sent to Rome and approved for further consideration. Included with this material was Jessie Munro’s biography, The Story of Suzanne Aubert. As a result, Meri Hōhepa Suzanne Aubert was given the title “Servant of God”. Subsequent presentation and approval of the relevant material led to Pope Francis declaring her “Venerable” in 2016.

The next step in the journey is the recognition of a first miracle which would have resulted in Pope Francis awarding her the title “Blessed,” the penultimate step on the path to her being declared “Saint”. She continues to be known as Venerable Suzanne Aubert, a woman of outstanding Christian virtue.

From my point of view, the miracle is in the life of those concerned in this process. I witness daily the gift we have of asking Meri Hōhepa to intercede for us on our behalf. It is extraordinary. It is tangible. We have much to be grateful for and we are on a journey of faith. I have witnessed the faith and healing of people as they request Meri Hōhepa’s intercession. This will continue.

Meri Hōhepa would say at this moment: ‘It is God’s will.‘ She said that ‘when all else fails this is the moment of God.’ We need to rest in that moment for a while, before deciding where to go next.”

Thank you for your continued support. Please continue to join us in prayer as we wait in hope that the church will one day formally recognise Meri Hōhepa Suzanne Aubert as a Saint.

God Bless you and your family,

Sister Margaret Anne Mills
Congregational Leader