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Catholic community celebrates cause for canonization in Loretto
CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. --
There was a step of progress and a sigh of relief in the Catholic community Wednesday night. Locals held a mass to celebrate the last step in the diocesan phase to accept Demetrius Gallitzin into sainthood.
It reads in more than 6,000 pages and took more than 16 years of research and notoriety.
"This was his dream to form a Catholic community, so that the people would not be influenced by outside influences, so they could learn their religion and live a Catholic life, diocesan postulator Betty Seymour said.
Father Demetrius Gallitzin is now memorialized in stone in front of the Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel in Loretto, but he was once a Russian prince who gave up royalty to become a martyr of the Catholic faith and built its foundation right here in Cambria County.
Everybody who settled here was really Catholic, especially the Irish and the Germans, diocesan postulator Frank Seymour said.
The cause for sainthood began nearly two decades ago and was spearheaded by the Seymours.
"It just kept going, we kept collecting more material and finally it evolved into a sainthood cause, Betty explained.
"His past writings, trying to find any examples we can that proves, that he is, indeed, a saint, Tony DeGol of The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown said.
"We had a man here that we really thought deserved the status of sainthood and that perhaps the cause could be open through the diocese," Frank said.
A catholic community that is deep in its roots is hoping to see a man of God get distinguish he deserves.
"The Vatican's read everything; they've accepted it and they consider Gallitzin lived a life of heroic virtue. And he would be venerable, but in order to be beatified, the next big step we'd have to have a miracle, then to be canonized another miracle after that, Betty explained.
"They want to see the day when he is officially named a saint. They really feel that connection, and it's something that's united not only the Loretto community, but our whole diocesan church, DeGol added.
The approval comes from the cause of canonization from Rome.
There's no word on how long that step of the process could take.