Although it has taken more than 400 years, the sainthood cause of Jesuit Father Matteo Ricci, the 16th-century missionary to China, is back on track.
Bishop Claudio Giuliodori, apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Macerata, Italy, where Fr. Ricci was born in 1552, formally closed the diocesan phase of the sainthood process May 10. The cause now moves to the Congregation for Saints’ Causes at the Vatican.
Bishop Giuliodori had met Pope Francis, a Jesuit, at the Vatican the first week of May. He wrote in the Macerata diocesan newspaper, “I never imagined I’d be able to speak about the cause of Fr. Matteo Ricci with a Jesuit pope. After the great attention given by Benedict XVI, who never missed an occasion to encourage us to promote the cause, we now have the joy of placing it into the hands of a Jesuit.” [...]