Servant of God Father Edward Flanagan died 69 years ago, but his legacy lives through Boy Town and the incredible amount of work he did for young men and women. His supporters here in Omaha are devoted to convincing the Vatican he is a Saint, and in June 2015 they sent their findings of his life’s work to Rome.
The Vatican responded and issued a Decree of Judicial Validity, moving the case forward in the status of Sainthood.
“What the Vatican has said is that he absolutely does have a reputation of sanctity,” said Steve Wolf, President of the Father Flanagan League Society of Devotion.
Archbishop George Lucas said this is a celebration for all the hard work hundreds of people have contributed.
BIG NEWS: The Vatican issued a Decree or Judicial Validity and the cause for Sainthood is moving forward for Father Flanagan. pic.twitter.com/laxnEhQkGl
— Miranda Christian (@MIRanda_TV3) May 15, 2017
“The community already recognizes his goodness but for the universal Catholic Church to be focused on that is an exciting thing for us,” he said.
Director of Boys Town Father Steven Boes said the school is proud of their founding father, “Most people don't understand he had an impact across the United States and even worldwide, his idea that there are no bad boys, or no bad boys or girls, was really ground breaking.”
Archbishop Lucas said this is still a long process, but they are putting their faith in God's hands.
“It counts as the first big step in the path the canonization,” he added.
The Vatican will now decide if Father Flanagan is venerable and two confirm miracles. “We are looking for something that doesn't have a human explanation; it seems there was some heavenly intervention,” said Archbishop Lucas.
The next step is a Relator will create a document that will make a closing argument if Father Flanagan has heroic virtue, which will happen after three meetings at the Vatican and can take up to 12 months.