Three individuals are one step closer to becoming saints of the Catholic Church.
Enrichetta Beltrame Quattrocchi, Fra Placido Cortese, and Maria Cristina Cella Mocellin have each been granted the title of Venerable Servant of God. This is after Pope Francis authorized the Dicastery to put in effect the Decrees concerning heroic virtues upon these individuals.
A Venerable Servant of God or simply a Venerable is the title given to any individual who is a “candidate for sainthood whose cause has not yet reached the beatification stage but whose heroic virtue has been declared by the pope,” according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. (Read: Meet the first Lucena bishop declared ‘venerable’ by the Pope)
So who are these three new Venerables the Holy Father has proclaimed? Read on to get to know them.
Venerable Maria Cristina Cella Mocellin
At a young age, Maria Cristina was already diagnosed with a sarcoma in her left leg which required her to undergo various rounds of treatment and therapy to heal her. But this didn’t stop her from finishing high school, and even marrying Carlo, a young man he met when she was 16.
They had already been living happily with two children when she discovered that she was pregnant with a third one. Unfortunately, it was also around the same time that her doctors told her that her disease had come back. Fearful of what the treatments might do to her unborn child, Maria Cristina held off on all treatments–similar to what Chiara Corbella Petrillo, a Servant of God, did for her child. (Read: ‘A World Without Mothers Is a World With No Future’ – Pope Francis)
“With all my strength I resisted giving you up, so much so that the doctor already understood everything and did not add anything else. Riccardo, you are a gift for us,” Maria Cristina wrote in a letter for Riccardo, their third child. She passed away at age 26 due to the cancer.
Venerable Friar Placido Cortese
Franciscan Friar Placido Cortese was a hero during the Second World War. During the war, Fra Placido assisted Croatian and Slovenian internees in Italian concentration camps on behalf of the then-Apostolic Nuncio in Italy, Archbishop Francesco Borgongini Duca.
After the 1943 armistice, Fra Placido helped former Allied prisoners, as well as people persecuted by the Nazis, including Jews, escape. However, the Germans saw his willingness to help out these individuals as political activity. (Read: Papal Nuncio To Relay Stories Of Drug War Victims’ Families To Pope Francis In October)
Through a well-executed plan in 1944, the friar was lured out of the Basilica of St. Anthony, an extra-territorial area, and was taken to the SS barracks in Trieste. There, he died due to the torture he suffered.
Venerable Enrica Beltrame Quattrocchi
Venerable Enrica Beltrame Quattrocchi is the youngest daughter of Blessed Luigi Beltrame Quattrocchi and Maria Corsini. Their family was the perfect example of living in holiness. According to Saint Pope John Paul II, they demonstrated that “it is possible, it is beautiful, it is extraordinarily fruitful and it is fundamental for the good of the family, the Church, and society.”
All of her siblings had religious vocations, and she wanted to follow in their footsteps. However, her vocation was to accompany their elderly parents. Enrica had volunteered for Catholic Action together with her mother, and did volunteer work for the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, where they went to the most difficult areas of Rome. She also dedicated her life to teaching. (Read: Vatican Unveils 2022 World Meeting of Families Official Image)
Enrica had faced illnesses and economic problems, but had always prayed and attended Mass throughout. In her last years, the Venerable helped couples in crisis.