Madre Margerita De Brincat to be proclaimed Venerable
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The Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints voted positively this morning in favour of the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Madre Margerita De Brincat, foundress of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
This now means that Pope Francis will be signing the decree proclaiming her Venerable.
This morning the Cardinals and Bishops within the Congregation of the Causes of Saints in Rome met in ordinary session of judgement about whether the Pope should declare the Servant of God Madre Margherita De Brincat, daughter of the Gozo diocese, as Venerable. This session was led by Cardinal J. Harvey and also present was Fr Gianni Califano Postulator OFM.
Today’s vote on the heroic virtues of Madre Margerita, follows the proposals submitted by a commission of nine Cardinals that assembled last April at the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints at Rome, when they unanimously decided in favour of the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Mother Margherita DeBrincat.
The next step is for the result of the vote to be given to Pope Francis, who on the advice of the Congregation will sign the official decree which will declare Madre Margerita De Brincat as Venerable. At that point a miracle through the intercession of Mother Margherita is the next step that will lead to her beatification and declared Blessed.
A Prayer Vigil was held yesterday at the Church of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Palm Streed, Victoria, where Madre Margerita lived for so many years, and is now buried. The Bishop of Gozo Mgr Mario Grech said that this is a “historic day for the Church in Gozo, because for the first time in history, a daughter of the Diocese of Gozo lies so close to the glory of the altars.”
Mother Margherita De Brincat passed away on January the 22nd 1952.
She was baptised at St George’s parish, and this is where her new religious congregation was also born.
An event that occurred in Gozo and left its mark on many parts of the world, was the foundation of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of the Heart of Jesus in 1880. This congregation had its origins in the Association of the Twelve Stars of the Heart of Jesus, initiated in Victoria by a group of young girls whose spiritual director was Fr Joseph Diacono, at that time assistant Parish Priest at St George’s.
Fr Diacono, then, committed himself in transforming this association in a diocesan religious congregation, first with the name of Franciscan Tertiaries and later, Franciscan Sisters of Malta.
As time passed, this congregation was given Papal approval and to express its charism better, the name was changed to Franciscan Sisters of the Heart of Jesus.
In the Constitutions of this Congregation, while Fr Joseph Diacono initiated the congregation, there was also Mother Margerita, who through a divine disposition, led it on, cultivated it, and brought it to maturity. Mother Margherita, born Virginia Debrincat in Kercem, was trained at Fr Diacono’s school.
Virginia De Brincat was baptised at St George’s Parish Church, Victoria, on 28 November 1862, exactly hundred and fifty years ago. At the age of 27, inspired by the Holy Spirit, she decided to run the congregation and managed to overcome the crisis that had almost brought it to an end.
Today, the congregation is still strong and on the 22nd of January 2000.
Photograph – Mons. Mario Grech, Bishop of Gozo, with Madre Vitaliana Zammit, Superior General of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and Fr Gianni Califano, Postulatur OFM of the Cause of Beatification.