"Patriarch of Burma" in line for beatification

The Church in Burma might soon have its first blessed, Fr Clemente Vismara, a missionary priest of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions.

Zenit reports that the Institute's Fr Piero Gheddo announced the examination of the healing of a boy, attributed to the intercession of the priest who was called "the patriarch of Burma".

If the healing is approved as a miracle, it will open the doors to the beatification.

Fr Gheddo, the founder of the AsiaNews service, this week outlined the progress of the process of beatification of the missionary in Burmese lands.

Fr Vismara carried out his work for 65 years in the Asian country, from 1923 to 1988. He returned to Italy only once, in 1957, because of illness.

He died on 15 June 1988, in Mong Ping, in the Diocese of Kengtung, on the border with China and Laos.

He was immediately invoked as "protector of children" because "he always lived among 200 to 500 orphans, whom he used to collect from villages destroyed by war or were lost through hunger or disease," recalled Fr Gheddo.

"Clemente died at age 91 but he used to write that he never felt old, because he was still useful to many abandoned children and people, whom he gathered into his mission, supported and cared for with the help of Sisters of Maria Bambina," continued Fr Gheddo.

In October 1996, Cardinal Carlo Martini of Milan launched the cause for his beatification - in his birthplace, Agrate Brianza. The cause "today has nearly come to a close," said the founder of AsiaNews.

"Patriarch of Burma" in Line for Beatification (Zenit 27/2/06)

Is Clemente Vismara close to beatification? (AsiaNews 3/6/05)

1 Mar 2006