Baltimore’s Catholic leaders say the city’s own Mother Mary Lange may be one step closer to sainthood.
Archbishop William E. Lori delivered an update from Rome last week on Lange’s cause for sainthood, which began in 1991. Lori was in Rome for the “ad limina” meetings, at which bishops present detailed reports on their dioceses to Pope Francis and other Vatican officials.
Xaverian Brother Reginald Cruz recently completed writing his “positio,” a document arguing for Lange’s sainthood. Once it is published, the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints will consider whether to approve the document, according to the diocesan news release. An approved “positio” is then forwarded to the pope, who will consider whether Lange lived a life of “heroic virtue” worth of holding the title of “venerable.”
The next step on the path to sainthood is for church scholars to document two confirmed miracles attributed to her.
If canonized, Lange, the founder of the Oblate Sisters of Providence, would be become the first black American saint, according to the archdiocese.
In a video posted to YouTube, Lori described Lange as a pioneer and who “stood head and shoulders above the racism of her era.”
The archdiocese broke ground in October for the Mother Mary Lange Catholic School, the city’s first Catholic school in more than 50 years.
Lori shared the history of the school’s namesake in an opinion piece published by the Baltimore Sun. Lange emigrated from Cuba to Baltimore in the early 1800s in hopes of serving refugees of the Haitian Revolution, who were flooding into Maryland at the time.
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She established the first religious order for women of African descent in 1829 — the Oblate Sisters of Providence — and devoted herself to serving the needs of black youth and adults.