A Labor of Love
Local supporters lead canonization efforts
Johnstown Tribune Democrat - 14 March 2007
And now the Vatican must decide.
Representatives of the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese on Sunday took the next big
step in their efforts to see Prince Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin granted
At the Basilica of St. Michael in Loretto, those who will make the case before
the Vatican took their oaths.
During the ceremony, Bishop Joseph Adamec said: “I have prayed, I have
envisioned and I have thought that it’s about time for this.”
Frank and Betty Seymour of Loretto have led the charge on behalf of “The
Apostle of the Alleghenies.”
In a story in Monday’s edition of The Tribune-Democrat, Adamec called the
canonization efforts “a labor of love for the diocese, and for history.”
The seven-year effort next will see materials supporting Gallitzin delivered to
the Vatican’s Congregation for Saints for consideration.
Only eight people have ever been canonized for their works in the United States.
Elizabeth Ann Baylen Seton (1774-1821), who founded the American Sisters of
Charity, was the first American-born saint.
Anne-Therese Guerin (1798-1856), known as “Mother Theodore,” was the most
recent to be canonized – last year.
Gallitzin (1770-1840) was the son of an 18th century Russian prince. He gave up
his wealth to care for the poor.
He founded the town of Loretto. The community of Gallitzin and nearby Prince
Gallitzin State Park are named for him.
In 1899, industrialist and St. Francis College graduate Charles Schwab said of
Gallitzin: “He erected a monument more lasting than metal or granite in the
hearts of his devoted followers.”
We applaud the efforts of the diocese and local supporters in their bid to
achieve sainthood for Prince Gallitzin – regardless of the Vatican’s
And we feel honored to have his name so prominently associated with our region.