An important step has been taken towards the canonization of Father Frederic. A very complete medical file promising a miracle cure has been submitted to Rome. The woman in question, declared to be in the final stage of her life, was said to have been healed the night after she prayed to Father Frederic.
Newsroom (July 29, 2021, Gaudium Press) – Bishop Martin Veillette, vice-postulator of the Cause of the Canonization of Father Frederic stated “As we are currently in the period of the Olympic Games, I will draw you a picture. Father Frédéric, with his beatification, is currently in a silver medal position. If he were to obtain his canonization, it would be his gold medal. His file was never put aside, which is a good thing. We were then asked to fill out a medical file, which we did. In our 150-page file, a hundred pages are devoted to the miraculous healing of a lady in Trois-Rivières whose oncologist, who is still practising, still remembers it.”
“In December 2020, – the Bishop noted – I wrote a letter, to Father Giovangiuseppe Califano and on July 20, 2021, I had a very positive response in the file that interests us. He specifies that he is hopeful that this healing can be recognized as a real miracle by the Franciscan congregation.”
The event in question took place at the beginning of May 1997.
“The lady was told to prepare her will and put her affairs in order. She was then diagnosed as end of life and sent to palliative care, which meant that she was no longer receiving medication for the disease. She then requested the presence of the hospital chaplain with whom she prayed to Father Frederic. The next morning, her problem was gone. Three days later, there was already talk of a discharge and she lived another 23 years without dying of cancer,” explains Bishop Veillette.
“The fact of not dying from his illness is a prerequisite for us to be able to speak of a miracle, of an event that cannot be explained by science,” adds Fr. Guylain Prince, a Franciscan from Trois-Rivières. “Today, we are announcing an important development in the case and it will be necessary for this healing to be recognized as inexplicable by science in order to be called a miracle.”
This canonization could have a big impact on religious tourism in the Mauricie region, particularly in Saint-Élie-de-Caxton, where Father Frédéric created the Calvary, the Way of the Cross leading to the mountain. For their part, the Franciscans of Trois-Rivières had already taken steps to have Father Frederic’s chapel become a shrine.
“We had already started to move on our side. Our chapel has undergone major transformations and we are preparing for it to become a shrine of Father Frederic. We will continue to make Father Frederic known, loved and prayed for. It is a chapel that he himself designed with his hands and paid for from his pocket. His tomb is even here. He did a lot in his life and there are many stories of healing. The last 14 years of his life he spent at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Cape and he spent them visiting families in their homes,” explains Fr. Prince. “If our place becomes a shrine, we will have some requirements to meet. We will have to open the premises regularly, be present on the premises, have constant celebrations, and welcome pilgrims.”
Fr Frederic was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1988. His shrine would give greater visibility to the site and attract more believers to its premises.
Compiled by Raju Hasmukh