BEATIFICATION OF SR.IRENE STEFANI
A senior Catholic Church official and architects from the
Vatican are in the county for preparations of a nun’s
beatification ceremony in May.
Preparations for the May 23 ceremony kicked off yesterday.
In an interview with the Nation, Vatican City representative
overseeing the ceremony Fr Gottardo Pasqualetti said a
miracle attributed to Sr Irene Stefani took place at the
Diocese of Nipepe in Mozambique on January 10, 1990.
It was approved by the church last year after investigations.
Speaking after meeting Nyeri Catholic Diocese and county
government officials at the church offices in Nyeri Town, Fr
Pasqualetti said beatification of the nun who died in 1930 at
Gikondi Village in Mukurweini began in 1983.
“Sr Irene’s case was first reported in 1983, but investigations
started in 1984. Two tribunals carried out the studies
independently. One was at Gikondi while the other was in
Turin, Italy — the birthplace of Sr Irene,” the priest said.
He said the tribunals’ findings were made public in 1989.
The architects will design the place where the remains of Sr
Irene will be interred inside a Cathedral in Nyeri Town.
Sr Irene was a member of Consolata Missionary Sisters and
assisted the wounded in Kenya and Tanzania during the First
World War. She died on October 31, 1930 at Gikondi Parish.
PROCESS TO SAINTHOOD
Beatification is a tradition in the Catholic Church that
declares a person blessed as he or she approaches
canonisation and sainthood. The ceremony is usually presided
over by the Pope or his representative.
Cardinal Angelo Amato, the Prefect of the Congregation for
the Causes of Saints at the Vatican, has been assigned by
Pope Francis I to preside over the ceremony. It is expected to
attract over 300,000 people from all over the world.
Archbishop Peter Kairo, the Nyeri Catholic Church head,
appealed to the national and county governments to repair
roads, especially those leading to Mukurweini.
“On May 22, there will be a vigil mass at Gikondi and on the
following day, the ceremony will be held at Dedan Kimathi
University of Technology grounds,” Archbishop Kairo said.
He added that there would be a procession from Mathari to
the Nyeri Town Cathedral on May 24.
Sr Irene will be the first to be proclaimed as a blessed
servant of God in Kenya and the second among the Consolata
Missionaries, after its founder Joseph Allamano.
Catholic doctrines stipulate that a miracle attributed to a
person must happen before canonisation to sainthood.
The Vatican then forms a tribunal to prove the miracle. In
the case of Sr Irene, a miracle associated to multiplication of
water was reported in Mozambique.
Pope Francis gave a decree approving the miracle in June
last, and later announced the beatification of Sister Irene.****