The Vatican has announced that Pope Paul VI will be beatified this October at the conclusion of the synod of bishops on the family. A statement from the Holy See’s press office on May 10 read, “the Holy Father has authorised the dicastery to communicate that the rite of beatification of the Venerable Servant of God Paul VI will take place, in the Vatican, on October 19, 2014.” The beatification ceremony will take place just as the world’s bishops conclude their meetings regarding matters related to marriage and family life. Paul VI is particularly well-known for his encyclical, Humanae Vitae, which spoke about the importance of generosity in married love and the principles of responsible parenthood. The late Pontiff was born in the Lombardi region of Italy in 1897 and given the baptismal name Giovanni Battista Montini. Ordained a priest in 1920 and consecrated as a bishop in 1954, he was appointed to the college of cardinals in 1958. At the age of 66 he was elected Pope and chose the name Paul VI in reference to the missionary spirit of the Apostle Paul. He re-convoked the second Vatican council, which had automatically closed with the death of his predecessor, John XIII, and improved ecumenical relations with the Orthodox Church. In a historic move in December of 1965, Pope Paul VI and the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople mutually lifted the excommunications that had been leveled against the leaders of both churches in 1054. Today’s announcement also included the approval for the beatification of Luigi Caburlotto, an diocesan priest from Venice, Italy, who founded the Institute of the Daughters of St. Joseph. Three others on the path to sainthood were recognized for their heroic virtue and will receive the title, “Venerable.” They include two priests, Spanish Jesuit Giacinto Alegre Pujals and Italian diocesan priest Giacomo Abbond, as well as the mother of a family who founded the Society of the Daughters of St. Francis de Sales, Frenchwoman Carla Barbara Colchen Carre de Malberg.
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