Sainthood cause opens for laywoman

A painting of laywoman Jeanne Le Ber (courtesy of the Recluse Missionaries)

A painting of laywoman Jeanne Le Ber (image courtesy of the Recluse Missionaries)

The life of a Canadian, single laywoman is being proposed as a model for holiness.

The cause for sainthood of Jeanne Le Ber was officially opened in Montreal last month, more than 300 years after her death.

Her life was documented in historical books and her reputation for holiness was passed on through the centuries, like a soft hum, below the noise of an ever-growing church and city.

Jeanne’s spirituality of “two windows” — one looking out onto the world and the other onto Christ — continued to draw people to a life of faith, prayer and charity and, in the last century, even inspired the foundation of a community of cloistered nuns.

The devotion to Jeanne among the faithful finally caught the attention of the current archbishop. He petitioned the Vatican to obtain the nihil obstat to proceed with the cause, which was opened officially in the same way as Jeanne lived — rather quietly and without much fanfare.

Read more about the cause of Jeanne Le Ber.

Scores of laypeople have been either beatified or canonized in the Catholic Church, including Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, Saints Louis and Zélie Martin, Saint Dominic Savio, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, Blessed Laura Vicuna, and dozens of martyrs around the world.

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