Holy Lives: US Causes for Canonization

Learn more about these saintly Americans.

(photo: Shutterstock)

As part of our “Sanctity in the USA” series — Part 1 and Part 2 — the causes for canonization for the following people are underway. Some of these remarkable women and men lived as far back as the 16th century and as recent as 2006. (Editor's Note: This is an updated version of the June 25 and July 9 print sidebars.)





Venerable Father Sébastien Rale (1724): Jesuit missionary and lexicographer killed during the wars between England and France in North America


Venerable Father Antonio Margil (1726): Spanish Franciscan missionary best known for his labors in Texas

Venerable Pierre Toussaint (1853): former slave from the French colony of Saint-Domingue who became beloved in New York City for his charitable work among the poor

Venerable Father Félix Varela (1857): Cuban-born priest who served in Cuba and the United States and was also atheological consultant in the drafting of the Baltimore Catechism

Venerable Mother Henriette Delille (1862): New Orleans, Louisiana, native and foundress of the Sisters of the Holy Family

Venerable Father Samuel Mazzuchelli, O.P. (1864): Italian-born Dominican priest and missionary in the Midwest who also helped found the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters

Venerable Bishop Frederic Irenaeus Baraga (1868): Slovenian-born missionary, grammarian of Native-American languages and the first bishop of Marquette, Michigan

Venerable Cornelia Peacock Connelly (1879): foundress of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus

Venerable Father Michael James McGivney (1890): founder of the Knights of Columbus

Venerable Sister Mary Magdalen Bentivoglio (1905): member of the Order of St. Clare of the Primitive Observance who established communities in the United States

Venerable Mother Maria Theresa Dudzik (1918): foundress of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago

Venerable Msgr. Nelson Baker (1936): priest and beloved figure of charity in the area around Buffalo, New York

Venerable Sister Kasimira (Maria) Kaupas, S.S.C. (1940): foundress of the Sisters of St. Casimir

Venerable Father Solanus Casey, O.F.M. Cap. (1957): Capuchin Franciscan, spiritual adviser and healer who will be beatified in Detroit in 2017

Venerable Msgr. Jean Martin Zozine Eyraud (1968): French-born priest who served in New Orleans, Louisiana, for decades and was famed for his holiness and wisdom

Venerable William Gagnon (1972): a member of the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God who died while caring for the poor in Saigon, Vietnam, during the Vietnam War

Venerable Fulton J. Sheen (1979): archbishop and one of the greatest Catholic communicators of the 20th century

Venerable Mother Angeline McCrory, O.Carm. (1984): foundress of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm

Venerable Bishop Alphonse Gallegos, O.A.R. (1991): auxiliary bishop of Sacramento, California, honored as the “Bishop of the Barrios”

Venerable Father Aloysius Schwartz (1992): missionary priest in Korea, the Philippines and Mexico and founder of the Sisters of Mary of Banneux and the Brothers of Christ




Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, C.S.s.R. (1867): Redemptorist priest and missionary across the United States who died in New Orleans while caring for yellow fever victims

Blessed Franziska Schervier, S.P.S.F. (1876): a nurse during Civil War and foundress of the Poor Sisters of St. Francis and the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor

Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich, S.C. (1927): member of the Sisters of Charity who was beatified in New Jersey in 2014






The 86 Martyrs of La Florida (1549-1706): Spanish priests and Native American Catholics martyred by the English in the La Florida Missions

Juan Bautista de Segura and seven companions, aka the Martyrs of Virginia (1571): Jesuit martyrs killed by local Indians

Martyrs of Georgia (1597): Spanish Franciscan martyrs killed by local Indians

Servant of God Father Felix de Andreis (1820): the first superior of the Congregation of the Mission, the Lazarists, in the United States

Servant of God Father Magín Catalá, O.F.M. (1830): Spanish Franciscan missionary active in the area around Santa Clara, California

Servant of God Bishop Simon-Guillaume- Gabriel Bruté de Rémur (1839): French missionary and the first bishop of the Diocese of Vincennes, Indiana; “the most learned man of his day in America,” according to President John Quincy Adams

Servant of God Demetrius Gallitzin (1840): Russian nobleman, convert and a missionary in western Pennsylvania for 40 years

Servant of God Father Patrick Ryan (1878): pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul parish in Chattanooga, Tennessee, from 1872 to 1878,

who gave his life at 33 years old while ministering

to his flock during a yellow-fever epidemic

Servant of God Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange, O.S.P. (1882): an African-American religious sister and the foundress of the Oblate Sisters of Providence

Servant of God Father Isaac Hecker (1888): founder of the Paulist Fathers

Servant of God Mother Maria Adelaida O’Sullivan (1893): a convert who first entered the Georgetown Visitation Convent and later became a Discalced Carmelite

Servant of God Father Augustus Tolton (1897): the first African-American diocesan priest; served in Chicago

Servant of God Father Leo Heinrichs, O.F.M. (1908 in odium fidei): Franciscan priest who served at St. Elisabeth of Hungary Church in Denver, Colorado,

and who was murdered during Mass

Servant of God Julia Greeley (1918): a former slave who was renowned for her charity in Denver, Colorado

Servant of God Father Thomas Price, M.M. (1919): co-founder of the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America, better known as the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers

Servant of God Francis Joseph Parater (1920): seminarian from Richmond, Virginia, who died at the North American College in Rome

Servant of God Father Stephen Eckert, O.F.M. Cap. (1923): Capuchin Franciscan in Wisconsin, honored as “the apostle and champion of the colored race”

Servant of God Sister Theresia of the Blessed Trinity (Hendrika) Ijsseldijk (1926): member of the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus

Servant of God Mother Rose Hawthorne (1926): co-foundress of the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne


Servant of God Mary Grace Bellotti (1927): Italian-born laywoman, mother and Marian devotee who founded the “Chapel House of St. Gerard” in New Jersey


Servant of God Bishop James Walsh, M.M. (1936): co-founder of Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers

Servant of God Therese of Jesus Lindenburg (1939): foundress of the Allentown Carmelite Monastery, Carmelite Nuns of the Ancient Observance in Pennsylvania

Servant of God Father Paul of Graymoor (Lewis Thomas Wattson) (1940): founder of the Society of the Atonement and father of the Church Unity Octave

Servant of God Msgr. Bernard Quinn (1940): Brooklyn priest and champion of racial equality

Servant of God Rhoda Wise (1948): Ohio laywoman mystic, visionary and reputed stigmatic

Servant of God Father Edward Flanagan (1948): the founder of Boys Town in Nebraska

Servant of God Father Emil Joseph Kapaun (1951): U.S. Army chaplain who died in a prisoner-of-war camp during the Korean War

Servant of God Bishop Francis Ford, M.M. (1952): Maryknoll missionary in China who was tortured by Chinese authorities and died in prison

Servant of God Mother Mary Teresa Tallon (1954): foundress of the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate

Servant of God Mary Virginia Merrick (1955): foundress of the National Christ Child Society

Servant of God Cora Evans (1957): a convert from Mormonism and mystic laywoman

Servant of God Father Vincent Robert Capodanno (1967): U.S. Marine chaplain who was killed during the Vietnam War

Servant of God Father Theodore Foley, C.P. (1974): superior general of the Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ, the Passionists

Servant of God Paul Murphy (1976): one of the first members of the institute Miles Jesu

Servant of God Dorothy Day (1980): convert, writer, peace activist and one of the founders of the Catholic Worker movement

Servant of God Stanley Francis Rother (1981): priest from Oklahoma who was martyred in a church mission in Guatemala and will be beatified in September 2017

Servant of God Father Aloysius Ellacuria (1981): Basque-born priest and reputed miracle worker who ministered in Los Angeles, California

Servant of God Brother James Alfred [Santiago] Miller (1982): Brother of the Christian Schools who was murdered at the age of 37 in Huehuetenango, Guatemala

Servant of God Bishop Vincent J. McCauley, C.S.C. (1982): member of the Congregation of Holy Cross and the first bishop of Fort Portal, Uganda

Servant of God Cardinal Terence John Cooke (1983): archbishop of New York from 1968 to 1983

Servant of God Father Joseph Muzquiz (1983): Spanish priest who worked to establish Opus Dei in the United States and around the world

Servant of God Father Walter Ciszek (1984): Polish-American Jesuit priest who labored in the Soviet Union between 1939 and 1963 and spent many years in Soviet prisons

Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman (1990): first African-American to join the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Wisconsin

Servant of God Father Patrick Peyton, C.S.C. (1992): Irish-born priest and founder of the Family Rosary Crusade

Servant of God Father John Hardon, S.J. (2000): Jesuit priest and prolific writer and theologian

Servant of God Sister Ida Peterfy, S.D.S.H. (2000): Hungarian-born foundress of the Society Devoted to the Sacred Heart, dedicated to religious education

Servant of God Gwen Cecilia Coniker (2002): married laywoman in the Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio, and co-founder of the Apostolate for Family Consecration

Servant of God Father Bill Atkinson (2004): Augustinian priest and first quadriplegic ordained a priest in the United States

Servant of God Father Joe Walijewski (2006): missionary priest renowned for his labors in Latin America, including Bolivia and Peru


Editor's Note: This was updated on July 14, 2017.

It was updated again on July 24, 2017, to upload the correct photo of 

Servant of God Sister Theresia of the Blessed Trinity (Hendrika) Ijsseldijk.