Offering of Life, a new path to beatification

By: Lindsey Kettner, Relevant Radio®

7/12/17

In his Apostolic Letter motu proprio, Pope Francis has detailed a new category, oblatio vitae or Offering of Life, under which a Servant of God may be beatified.

“This came from an apostolic letter that was just released and the Holy Father specifically talks about this category of Offering of Life. We know that martyrs are eligible for beatification, but this is a little bit different—this is for those folks who would not be considered instant martyrs by the shedding of their blood,” says Ashley Noronha, Relevant Radio Vatican Correspondent.

This would open up the candidacy for beatification for people who voluntarily offer their life in different ways, including those who care for sick people with contagious diseases and may catch those diseases and die sometime later.

One example of someone whose cause may fall under this new category is Chiara Corbella. “She was a 28 year old Italian woman. She refused treatment for carcinoma, a type of skin cancer, because she was pregnant and she knew that would risk the life of her unborn child. So she died nearly a year after she gave birth to the baby. Because her cancer had become terminal, treatment was ineffective at that point,” says Noronha.

Under the Offering of Life category for beatification, that criteria still stand that a person to be beatified must be “credited with a miracle through the intercession of their prayers,” says Noronha. “But this does open up a new and very interesting pathway to sainthood.”