What is it?
Beatification is the recognition done by the Catholic Church saying that someone was faithful to Jesus teachings, and is together with God, in state of grace, and can intercede por all who ask him/her through prayers.
Actualy the diocesis are the ones having authority to open a beatification process. The cause of beatification have a postulator bishop, who act like a lawer, investigating the candidate's life in order to find out his witness of holiness.
After the process is started, the candidate receive the title of Servant of God. At the first stage, the virtues or martyrdom of the candidate will be investigated. Case he was a martyr, the circunstances will be investigated in details. After the process is concluded with a positive position, the candidate is declared blessed.
Opening of the cause of Canonization of Franz de Castro
The Diocese of São José dos Campos opened the process of the cause of Canonization of the Servant of God Franz de Castro Holzwarth. The ceremony took place on 6th March 2009, at 3 pm, in the Seminary of Philosofy, in São José dos Campos. During the session, it was done the petition for the introduction of the cause, the acceptance by the bishop and the Court's appointment that will investigate the reputation of martyrdom and holiness of the Servant of God.
The diocesan Tribunal consists of the following members: Father Rogerio Augusto das Neves, Chief Judge; Father Antonio Silva France, prosecutor; Regina Araujo, notary actuarial and Sister Diva Moura, notary assistant.
About 300 people, including members of Franz de Castro family, friends, members of the APACs and leaders of the diocese, filled the auditorium of the seminary, to follow the only public session.
The diocesan phase of the process followed under wraps until its closure on 22nd December 2010. The duration of the process depended on the amount of witnesses heard and the arrangements for the investigation.
At this stage, witnesses indicated by the postulator will have been questioned by members of the court in order to gather documents that were sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Holy See. For the cause of Franz de Castro was appointed as Postulator Father Riccardo Petroni, in Rome. The postulator appointed Vice Postulator of this Cause, in São José dos Campos diocese, Father Jose Candido Pereira.
The documents went to the Vatican, where they will be examined by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
"The cause of beatification and canonization concerns a to faithful Catholic who in life, in death and after death has enjoyed a reputation for holiness, living in a heroic way all the Christian virtues; or enjoys a reputation of martyrdom because having more closely followed the Lord Jesus Christ sacrificed his life in martyrdom act" ( Article 4 Paragraph 1 of Instruction for conducting diocesan inquiries or eparchies in the Causes of Saints) .
“A fama de martírio é a opinião difundida entre os fieis acerca da morte padecida pelo Servo de Deus pela fé ou por uma virtude conexa com a fé” (Art. 4º parágrafo 2º da referida Instrução).
Therefore, the Diocese of São Jose dos Campos, through their diocesan bishop, Dom Moacir Silva, after making sure of a significant portion of the People of God 's reputation for holiness and martyrdom of the Servant of God, began the process of beatification and Canonization of the Servant of God Franz de Castro Holzwarth.
Various documents pertaining to the Servant of God from birth certificate, baptism, confirmation, education, prepared texts for lectures to convicts, magazines and publications of the event that occurred at the time, among others, were delivered by the Historical Commission for the development of the whole process.
Were heard more than 30 witnesses, among laity, religious and relatives. The witnesses, bound by oath to tell the truth and to hold office of secrecy, were indicated by the postulator, and others, called ex officio by the Chief Judge.
The court is composed of:
Judge delegate: Father Rogerio Augusto das Neves
Prosecutor: Father Antonio Silva France
Actuarial notice: Regina Celia Oliveira Araújo de Siqueira
Assistant notice: Sr. Diva Moura
Postulator: Father Riccardo Petroni
Vice - postulator: Fr. José Cândido Pereira.
Enthronement and transfer of the remains of the Servant of God
On 12th November 2010, members of the Diocesan Tribunal constituted for the process of beatification and canonization of the Servant of God Franz de Castro Holzwarth, went from São Jose dos Campos to Barra do Pirai, where were his remains.
Due to the death of Dona Dinorah, the mother of the Servant of God, on 10th May 2010, it was necessary to anticipate the exhumation of the remains of Franz de Castro, who was carefully placed in an urn plastic, in white and replaced in family tomb in Barra do Pirai.
In the town cemetery, which was filled with faithful, after initial greetings, the advisor to the postulator, Father Paolo Lombardo, authorized the start of the work. The cemetery officials removed the tombstone and the urn that contained the remains of the Servant of God. A great emotion took hold of everyone present. As the occasion requires, only family and friends witnessed the withdrawal of the tombstone. Several journalists were waiting at a distance, to record each transfer step.
The urn was wrapped in a white linen towel and conducted by the faithful and members of the Court, with prayers and hymns, to the Mother Church of the City.
The farewell celebration of the remains was conducted by the Reverend priest, Father Leandro and Father Antonio.
At the end, the urn was transported to St. Joseph Church in the city of São José dos Campos, where the Servant of God lived his last years of life.
After recognition and identification made by the noble Dr. Wilson Salgado, the remains have undergone a special treatment by preventing its deterioration. In another step, they were carefully deposited in an urn acrylic, made exclusively with dividers and prepared with camphor, which was sealed with the seal of the Bishop. It was then placed in another urn solid wood.
On 17th November 2010, at 10am, it was held a solemn ceremony presided over by the diocesan bishop, Dom Moacir Silva, which in the end led the urn to the grave prepared at the end of the Parish Church, easily accessible to the faithful, along with the aide of the Postulator, Fr . Paolo Lobardo, by members of the Tribunal constituted for the cause, the Chief Judge, Fr. Rogerio Augusto das Neves; the Promoter of Justice, Fr. Antonio Silva France; Vice Postulator of the Cause , Fr. José Cândido Pereira, the actuarial notary, Regina Celia Araujo and the assistant notary, Sister Diva Moura, in addition to authorities, relatives and loyal friends.
The legal documents of the enthronement were placed in the ballot box and the granite tomb was sealed, making it the place of visitation and prayer.