Beatification Process

Father Jean Gailhac

Beatification Process


Founder of the Institute of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary

  • 13. November 1802
  • 25 January 1890


introduction of the Cause for Jean Gailhac’s Beatification

Between 1949 and 1951 the so-called ordinary trial required by the Holy See took place. On 26 July 1953, Pope Pius XII signed the commission for the introduction of the Cause for the beatification of the Founder. Monsignor R. Fontenelle was Postulator of the Cause. At the time, Mother Gerard Phelan was Superior General and the Beatification Fund was created by her.

26 july 1953

Oficial date of the proclamation of Jean Gailhac as “Venerable”

Since both the ordinary and the apostolic processes were drawn up several years after the death of Jean Gailhac, it was necessary for the Sacred Congregation of Rites (as the Congregation for the Causes of Saints was then called) to carry out an investigation into the documents concerning the life, apostolic activity and virtues of Gailhac.

Once all the juridical requirements had been fulfilled, the question of the theological and cardinal virtues of Gailhac was raised. In the session of January 18, 1972, in the presence of the General Council (Sr. Margarida Maria Gonçalves, Sup. General), the Cardinals unanimously replied that the Servant of God Jean Gailhac practiced all the Christian virtues to a heroic degree.

On 22 June 1972, Pope Paul VI promulgated the decree declaring that the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity concerning God and neighbour, as well as the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance were present in Jean Gailhac to a heroic degree.
On the date of Gailhac’s proclamation as Venerable, Bishop Emidio Federici, the Postulator, presented his resignation. Paolo Molinari sj made himself available to be the Postulator of the Cause at the request of Sr. Margarida Maria.

22 de june 1972

Interruption of the beatification process by decision of the Enlarged General Council (EGC)

The General Council (Sr. Maria de Lourdes Machado, Sup. General), considering the large amount of money spent on the Founder’s Cause over the years, scheduled a meeting with Fr. Molinari for an update on the process. During this meeting with the GC, which took place in June 1976, Fr. Molinari referred to a cure which had been attributed to the intervention of Jean Gailhac (the case of Fr. Froc, chaplain in Renè – France), but which had not been recognized as a ‘miracle’ by the Sacred Congregation of Rites. In October 1976, Sr. Maria de Lourdes informed Fr. Molinari that the Enlarged General Council, which had taken place in July, had decided to interrupt the work on the Cause for Beatification.


(Centenary of the Death of Jean Gailhac) – update with Fr. Paul Molinari sj

During the Centenary Year several Sisters from different Provinces asked the General Council to revive the process of Jean Gailhac’s beatification. In June 1990 the GC (Sr. Patricia Connor, Sup. General) consulted with Fr. Molinari. He gave the history of the process from 1974-1976. He reported that the Holy See continued to demand two conventional ‘miracles’, one for beatification and the other for canonization, seeing in them a sign from God confirming holiness.


update with Fr. Paul Molinari sj

The General Council (Sr. Catherine Dolan, Sup. General) held a meeting with Fr. Molinari to get an update on the Cause, as requested by the EGC in October 1996. Several Sisters of the Institute had also expressed their desire and requested that the process of beatification of Gailhac continue. At that meeting, Fr. Molinari clarified that all the necessary work on the documentation requirements had been fulfilled and was still valid. This, he said, was the most expensive part of the process. What was missing was a ‘miracle’ accepted by the ecclesiastical panel of judges.

Although Fr. Molinari’s understanding of the ‘miracle’ was more comprehensive, the conventional ‘miracle’ remained a requirement of the Holy See, as confirmation of the holiness of the person.

Fr. Molinari suggested to the GC that they encourage the Sisters and others to know, appreciate and love the person and charism of Gailhac, not for the “glory” of the beatification, but for the further deepening and living of our spirituality, unity of spirit and our own personal conversion. He stressed the importance of asking for Gailhac’s intercession for some need and to be open to the possibility of a ‘miracle’.


update with Fr. Paul Molinari sj

The General Council (Sr. Catherine Dolan, Sup. General) held a meeting with Fr. Molinari to get an update on the situation of the Cause, in the light of the change of Pope (Benedict XVI) and the cure of Sr. Maureen Kelleher. Fr Molinari mentioned few, if any, substantial changes in the requirements demanded by the Holy See. Regarding Maureen’s cure, he pointed out that since she had undergone chemotherapy this could be a reason not to consider it a “miraculous” cure (in fact, it was not stated that it was a total impossibility to be the result of medical intervention).

At that meeting, Fr. Molinari was impressed by the growing interest of the laity in the person of Gailhac and encouraged us to continue to promote knowledge and love of the Founder, to make his spirit alive in our own lives and apostolic services. He also advised us to be attentive to changes that might be taking place in people’s lives through the influence of Gailhac.

January 2006

update with Fr. Paul Molinari sj

In December 2009, Fr. Molinari announced that, having reached the age limit set for the post, he was terminating his duties as Postulator of the Cause of Gailhac.

Em janeiro de 2010, a Superiora Geral – Ir. Terezinha Cecchin – reuniu com o Pe. Molinari para uma atualização do processo. Uma vez mais, ele confirmou que o único tipo de ‘milagres’ reconhecidos pela Santa Sé era o de uma cura física inexplicável pela ciência. Father Molinari expressou a sua convicção pessoal sobre a existência de outro tipo de ´milagres´ para além das curas físicas. Referiu, ainda, que a vivência do carisma por parte dos membros do Instituto, seria o melhor modo de suscitar noutros o desejo de conhecer a vida e obra do Fundador e de seguir o seu exemplo.

According to Fr. Molinari, the Postulator should preferably be an RSHM (or group of RSHM) with the specific preparation required. He suggested fund-raising as a possible means of bearing the expenses related to the Cause.

January 2010

Request to revitalize the beatification process of Jean Gailhac from the Area of Portugal

(cf. Letter of the ILC and attached document sent in June 2020).

In the 2nd session of the Provincial Chapter (Oct. – Nov. 2019) the profound desire and recommendation was expressed of presenting to the ILC the request for revitalization of the process of beatification and later canonization of the Founder. This desire was reinforced and confirmed both by the Sisters and the Collaborators of the Area of Portugal during the Assemblies for the communication of the Provincial Chapter.

In June 2019 and February 2020

steps taken by the ILC

Fr. Orlando Zanovelli CSSp (Postulator of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit) was consulted about the requirements and steps needed in the process. According to Fr. Orlando, for the process of beatification and later canonization to progress, a physical healing – 1 ‘miracle’ for the beatification and another for the canonization – remains indispensable. This requires, according to him, that knowledge of and devotion to Jean Gailhac be intentionally and vigorously promoted and that his reputation for holiness be increased and shared by a wide public.

A letter has been sent to the Area Leaders, asking them to engage with and listen to the feelings and opinions of the RSHM, the members of the FA SCM and the Collaborators, regarding the request for the revitalisation of Jean Gailhac’s beatification process.

From February to October 2020

ORAÇÃO Pela beatificação do Ven. Pe. Jean Gailhac

Ó Deus,
que achais a Vossa glória
nos méritos dos Vossos santos
e Vos comprazeis
em exaltar as suas virtudes,
escutai favoravelmente
as preces que Vos dirigimos
em favor do Vosso fiel Servo
Pe. Jean Gailhac,
Fundador do Instituto das Religiosas
do Sagrado Coração de Maria.
Lembrando-vos do zelo ardente
que ele testemunhou
pela salvação das pessoas,
da caridade tão generosa
que exerceu em favor dos pobres,
do amor tão forte
que o uniu à Igreja
e da filial devoção que teve
pelo Sagrado Coração de Maria,
dignai-Vos glorificá-lo na terra
e conceder-nos,
com a graça que vos solicitamos
………….(pedir a graça)…………
virmos a ser seus/suas imitadores/as.

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