The announcement that Pope Benedict XVI will canonize Blessed Jeanne Jugan, the foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor, on Oct. 11 has created excitement among members of the congregation worldwide.
"We knew it was only a matter of time, but everyone was just thrilled when the official announcement was made," said Sister Constance Veit, publications coordinator in the Little Sisters of the Poor's Baltimore province. "We've anticipated this for so long."
Pope John Paul II beatified Jeanne Jugan in 1982, and Pope Benedict XVI signed a document Dec. 6, 2008, recognizing the miracle advancing her sainthood cause.
Pope Benedict Feb. 21 presided over a consistory that gave final approval for the canonization of 10 people, including Blessed Jeanne, who began her ministry on the streets of France taking the elderly and poor into her home in the early decades of the 1800s.
To support her ministry, Blessed Jeanne begged for money, a tradition the Little Sisters of the Poor consider a fundamental part of their mission today.
The canonization will take place during the Synod of Bishops for Africa, and is expected to be celebrated in St. Peter's Square, along with four others who will be declared saints.
The miracle linked to Blessed Jeanne concerns Dr. Edward Gatz, a retired Omaha, Neb., anesthesiologist diagnosed with terminal cancer in 1989, Sister Constance told Catholic News Service Feb. 23.
The doctor was advised by a Jesuit (Any one know this priests name?) priest at Creighton University in Omaha to pray to Blessed Jeanne and a few months later a follow-up biopsy found Gatz -- who is still alive at the age of 71 -- to be cancer-free, she said.