Canonization of Father Damien to end long journey for priest
Published: September 22, 2009
EDINBURG, Texas (CNS) -- When Blessed Damien of Molokai is canonized Oct. 11 by Pope Benedict in St. Peter's Square, a Texas priest who played a major role in the long process will be there. Father Emilio Vega Garcia, parochial vicar at Sacred Heart Church in Edinburg, was the postulator for the cause of canonization of Blessed Damien for 10 years, from 1997 to 2007. The postulator is the primary promoter or lead investigator for a proposed saint's cause in Rome. "If Father Emilio hadn't been here to help the process, who knows?" said Patrick Downes, editor of the Hawaii Catholic Herald, the newspaper for the Diocese of Honolulu. "It may not have happened. Father Emilio was a major figure in the process." Father Garcia, a member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and a native of Spain, takes a more humble approach on his role as postulator. "It was part of my ministry," he said. "It was a great honor to present Father Damien's cause. He is not only a hero in Hawaii and his native Belgium but for all of humanity."
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