Including Saints or Blessed in Diocesan Calendars
The NCCB Secretariat for the Liturgy has received requests for clarification about a number of issues pertaining to the preparation of particular calendars for a diocese or province. The first of these concerns the procedures for the inclusion of a saint or blessed in a diocesan calendar.
A number of dioceses have received requests from religious communities to place a saint or blessed of their community on the particular calendar of a diocese. In some cases, these requests originate in response to the policy statement On the Inclusion of Saints and the Blessed in the Proper Calendar for the Dioceses of the United States of America which was approved by the NCCB on November 18, 1992 as an internal policy statement of its standing Committee on the Liturgy (see BCL Newsletter, Vol. XXVIII, December 1992). This statement requires that before a saint or blessed may be considered for inclusion on the national calendar for the United States of America, the following guidelines are to be applied:
- As a general practice, before being considered for inclusion on the national calendar, saints or the blessed of a religious community must first be included on diocesan calendars for a significant period of time (usually 5 to 10 years) in order to insure that they have a genuine cultus in the United States.
- The cultus of the saint or blessed must exist in a significant number of dioceses throughout the country before the saint or blessed may be proposed for inclusion on the national calendar. This cultus must be broader than in a particular area or region of the country in order to demonstrate that the saint or blessed is of significance to the entire country.
- Normally the saint or blessed must have served in the United States of America.
- Such commemorations of saints or the blessed will ordinarily be given the rank of optional memorial.
Requests to place a saint or blessed on a diocesan calendar are to be submitted to the local ordinary of the diocese. In the case of diocesan calendars, the inclusion of a saint or blessed requires the approval of the local ordinary. If the local ordinary approves this request, it must then be submitted to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for confirmation.
Requests for clarification have also been received for guidelines that enable dioceses to determine which saints or blessed belong on a diocesan calendar. The policy statement On the Inclusion of Saints and the Blessed in the Proper Calendar for the Dioceses of the United States of America states the following:
In order to determine which saints or blessed belong on the particular calendar of a nation or region, or on diocesan or religious calendars, some general norms are to be observed:
- Care must be taken not to overload the national calendar or that of a diocese or religious institute (see GNLYC 53).
- Saints and the blessed should be included on a particular calendar only if they have particular significance for the entire nation, diocese, or religious family (see GNLYC 53b).
- Other saints and blessed are to be celebrated only in those places with which they have closer ties (see GNLYC 53c).