His Holiness Pope Francis announced last Thursday February 15 that Blessed Pope Paul VI will be made a Saint later this year. He was born Joseph Batista Montini and reigned as Pope from 1963 to 1978 succeeding Pope John XXIII.
He also published an important church document, “Humanae Vitae,” in 1968 about the value of human life.
The miracle attributed to the cause of Paul VI is a very topical one which involved the healing of an unborn child in the fifth month of pregnancy.
The mother had an illness that risked her own life and the life of her unborn child, and was advised to have an abortion.
A few days after the beatification of Paul VI on 19 Oct 2014, she went to pray to him at the Shrine of Holy Mary of Grace in the town of Brescia. The baby girl was later born in good health, and remains in good health today.
He was The Vatican Secretary of State when he made a visit to the College and the Monastery on September 10 1951. He had flown in to Shannon from the US and was on his way to Dublin to catch a flight to Rome. He stopped for lunch and took a tour of the Abbey and College.
At that time Fr. Dermot had a silkworm farm in the Monastery and produced silk that was then woven into Sacred Garments. The future Pope was presented with a silk stole made by Fr Dermot in a handcrafted Irish elm box.
He signed the visitor’s book simply as “J B Montini Vatican City”. His signature is in the VIP section of the visitor’s book in the front parlour. There is one known photograph of the occasion taken on the guest house steps.
In the Beatification Mass, also attended by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI , Pope Francis quoted from a 1965 apostolic letter by Blessed Pope Paul VI.
“By carefully surveying the signs of the times, we are making every effort to adapt ways and methods to the growing needs of our time and the changing conditions of society,”
Sixty-seven years after his visit that is precisely what Cistercian College is engaged in.
We pray that our most distinguished visitor and the soon to be Pope Saint Paul VI will continue to guide us in our work.