OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Archdiocese of Omaha announced that the effort to have Boys Town founder Father Edward J. Flanagan canonized a saint took a big step forward at the Vatican on Monday.
A summary of the volumes of records (called the Postito) that make the argument that Father Flanagan demonstrated heroic virtue in his life, thus worthy of being declared venerable by the Pope, was presented to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints today. A letter of support from Archbishop George Lucas was also included.
Archbishop Lucas met with Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, the prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints, in January to endorse this step personally.
“It has been a privilege to offer my support for the cause of Father Edward Flanagan at each stage of this process,” Archbishop Lucas said. “I was able to share with Cardinal Becciu the encouragement offered to all of us in the Church during this challenging time by the virtuous life and work of Father Flanagan.”
With the Postito now submitted, the cause has three additional phases to go through before Father Flanagan is declared a saint.
First, the case must reach approval by the historical consultants of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, then by the theological consultants, then by the bishops and cardinals who are members of that Congregation.
If Father Flanagan's case is upheld through these stages, the Congregation would then make a recommendation to Pope Francis that Father Flanagan would be declared venerable.
Once pronounced venerable, the following phase is beatification--when the person is declared "blessed."
There must be proof of a miracle through the intercession of the Servant of God to be declared blessed.
The final step is canonization, which requires a second proven miracle.
More information can be found here.