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Beatification of Father Basil Moreau

The Venerable Basile-Antoine Marie Moreau, C.S.C., (1799-1873), founder of the Priests, Brothers and Sisters of Holy Cross was beatified in Le Mans, France, on Saturday, September 15, 2007. This was announced in a letter from the Vatican Secretariat of State on December 7, 2006.

Basile Moreau was born in Laigné-en-Belin, a town in the diocese of Le Mans, France on February 11, 1799. He died in Le Mans on January 20, 1873. As a priest of the diocese of Le Mans and seminary professor, he established the Association of Holy Cross consisting of two societies, one of men (brothers and priests) and the other of women, both having as principal ministries the education of youth and evangelization. The congregation of priests and brothers of Holy Cross received definitive approbation by the Holy See in 1857. The Marianites of Holy Cross were approved ten years later in 1867. In 1869 the Marianites of Holy Cross in Indiana received their autonomy and became the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross; in 1883 the Marianites in Canada became the branch known as the Congregation of the Sisters of Holy Cross (Soeurs de Sainte-Croix). Since their inception, the four congregations making up the Holy Cross Family have grown and spread throughout the world. The men and women of Holy Cross have begun and still maintain educational institutions as well as important social and pastoral ministries in North and South America, Africa and Asia. It is through their commitment to the vowed life, their zeal for the mission and the diversity of ministry that the priests, sisters and brothers of Holy Cross continue to live out the vision of Venerable Basile Moreau, who saw his religious family as a "a mighty tree that constantly shoots forth new limbs and branches and is nourished by the same life-giving sap" (Moreau, 1854) and as visible manifestation of the union and interdependence of both the Holy Trinity and the Holy Family. It is for this reason that he dedicated the priests to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the sisters to the heart of Mary and the brothers to St. Joseph and the entire congregation to Mary under the title of Our Lady of Sorrows.

Father Moreau's cause for beatification was first introduced on the diocesan level in Le Mans, France in 1946. However, it was not until 1955, that the cause was presented for consideration by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome. This congregation studied the life, the writings and the spirituality of Basile Moreau and after a definitive presentation of the study on the founder's virtues in 1994, the congregation recommended to the late Holy Father, John Paul II on January 11, 2003, that he declare Basile Moreau's practice of the theological and cardinal virtues to be heroic in nature. Pope John Paul II issued the declaration and bestowed on the founder of Holy Cross the title Venerable on April 12, 2003. After further study and the unanimous acceptance of a miraculous cure attributed to Venerable Basile Moreau's intercession, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints recommended to His Holiness Benedict XVI on November 8, 2005 that Basile Moreau be declared Blessed. On April 28, 2006, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI approved the promulgation of the miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Basile-Antoine Marie Moreau.