The closing ceremony of the investigation, October 18, 2014
On April 25, 2006, Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois opened the Enquiry. The Final Session of this Enquiry took place in the Catechism Chapel, Church of St Augustine, Paris on October 18, 2014.
At three o’clock, Monsignor Éric de Moulins-Beaufort, who presided this Final Session, took his place along with all the other participants of the Session.
Then the representatives of the Association ‘Friends of Father Caffarel’, who had asked for the Opening of the Cause entered: José & María Berta Moura Soares, Gérard & Marie-Christine de Roberty, and the Association’s Secretary, François Genillon.
People who had worked closely on the Cause carried five boxes
Centre below the Presidency’s table
Five boxes were placed on a table and were sealed immediately. Nine other boxes were sealed the night before so that the Final Session would not last too long. These nine were placed beside the table.
The bishop introduced the Final Session and the song Veni Creator.
The importance of this stage of the canonisation process was explained, because the Cause for Father Caffarel will be written up using the documents contained in the Enquiry. The declaration of holiness will come later. All who worked on the Cause were asked to keep the secret.
Decrees and Nomination
The Bishop read the Decree for the Definitive Closing of the Enquiry. The Bishop, Episcopal Delegate, Promoter of Justice, Notary, Postulator and Vice-Postulator solemnly swore that they faithfully fulfilled their task and that they will keep the secret. They signed the document. The Bishop named a bearer, who solemnly swore to fulfil his task. He signed.
As is usual, the Postulator was designated to carry all the documents to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome, at the Vatican. Father Paul-Dominique Marcovits, o.p. will look after this and was expected on November 10th at 9:30am at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. A certified report of the oaths was drawn up and the related documents were joined to the acts.
Song of Thanksgiving :
Magnificat (Robert Lebel)
Closing of the Boxes :
Description of the boxes: one series stays in Paris, while two others left for Rome.
- 5 boxes: 4 boxes of documents (witness interviews, writings of Father Caffarel etc.) and 1 box of Father Caffarel’s books make up the Archetype. The ribbon wrapped around them is red (Paris). This series will remain in Paris in the Historic Archives of the Paris diocese.
5 identical boxes to the Archetype are transported to Rome and are called the Transumptum. The ribbon here is yellow (Vatican).
4 boxes of documents identical to the Archetype (and also therefore to the Transumptum) were brought to Rome (without the crate of books) and are referred to as the Public Copy. The ribbon here is blue (END/Teams of Our Lady)
After some formalities, the Bishop asked the Chancellor, Father Jean-Marie Dubois to seal the boxes, which he did.
During the Closing of the Boxes:
A Song using Father Caffarel’s Prayer: O Toi qui es chez toi (Oh you who are at home)
Father Paul-Dominique Marcovits-reminded all that asking for the canonisation of one of God’s servants has 3 aims :
- to proclaim the glory of God, who alone is holy;
to recognise God’s action in his servant that he sanctified (It was said of Father Caffarel that he was‘a man seized by God’)
finally that God’s people and all of society may receive God’s goodness through God’s servant. This third aim is apostolic: that the greatness of the sacrament of marriage be experienced more and more and that prayer (especially private, meditative prayer) may teach everyone how much God loves them.
- described the work accomplished:
The Diocesan Commission of Enquiry was presided over by Monsignor Maurice Fréchard, who was assisted by Father Henri Moreau, Promoter of Justice (he ensured that the audiences proceeded according to Church law) and Mrs Brigitte Jezequel, Notary. This Commission interviewed witnesses of Father Caffarel’s life and asked them about his life, his virtues and his reputation of holiness.
The Commission of Theological Experts read all of Father Caffarel’s work and each gave their opinion.
The Commission of Historical Experts examined Father Caffarel’s life and made a common report.
- The Postulator and Vice-Postulator read the entire dossier and gave their opinion.
The Postulator then described what will happen in Rome:
The Congregation will examine the dossier to check that the Canonical Enquiry was conducted according to Church rules in this domain. Then a decree of validity will be issued (Autumn 2015)
Once this decree is issued, the Congregation will name a Reporter, someone who will represent the Congregation and will be in charge of the procedure for the dossier
An external collaborator, an editor of the ‘Positio’ will also be named. They will work on synthesising all that has been gathered on Father Caffarel during the Enquiry. The Editor must produce a thesis showing the life, virtues and holiness of Father Caffarel. All of which will take time, of course.
- In Rome, Father Angelo Paleri will be the Postulator, that is someone who, in the name of the ‘Friends of Father Caffarel’ will closely following the progress of the work.
The Postulator then said a few words about Father Caffarel and spoke about a miracle
- A miracle, an immediate, definitive and physical healing, is necessary. God accomplishes a miracle through the intercession of one of his servants, at the request of the Christian people. A miracle is therefore the sign that God wants his servant to be recognised as a saint and for his life to be a model for his people. We ask God for a miracle through the intercession of Father Caffarel, because we want that this prophet of our time, this apostle of love, be recognised and that all may learn from his life.
*We are certain that many people, through Father Caffarel’s intercession, receive magnificent graces. It is in this context of sincere and persistent requests that a miracle could occur.
Monsignor Éric de Moulins-Beaufort invited us to recite the Rosary, while the Chancellor placed the seal of the diocese of Paris on the boxes.