Cause for the Canonization of 

Servant of God 

Demetrius Gallitzin

"Apostle of the Alleghenies"




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bulletRead the series of 6 articles from The Catholic Register on the Process of Canonization for Servant of God Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin.  (Click here)

For the Good of the Household

Monday, October 3, 2005 - The Catholic Register

What’s In A Name

As everyone in our Diocesan Church should know, the Reverend Prince Demetrius Gallitzin is now known as “Servant of God.” He merits this title as a result of the Holy See having no objection to our proceeding with the process necessary for possible canonization. This was in response to a letter, which I wrote describing the life of Demetrius Gallitzin.

I am now in the process of appointing the various officials and commissions necessary for the process. The two commissions necessary are the historical and theological, which will look into the Servant of God’s life and writings. The officials include one who is to promote the cause for canonization, an individual who represents the bishop, and a promoter of justice whose role is to challenge the process.

Once the diocesan process is completed, the documentation is sent to the Congregation for Saints. After the Holy See studies that documentation and recognizes the heroicity of the virtues lived out by the Servant of God and has issued the relative decree, he is referred to as “Venerable.” While the term comes from the word “venerate,” the individual is not allowed public veneration at this point of the process.

The title of “Blessed” is bestowed at a beatification ceremony, following a favorable review by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. A miracle proven through appropriate canonical investigation and verified after the individual’s death is required. The Holy Father gives the final approval and authorizes the Congregation to draft the relative decrees. As a result of beatification, the Church is allowed to venerate the Blessed, limited to a particular sphere.

The next and last phase involves a miracle that has occurred after the person was declared Blessed. The steps that affirm this miracle to be true are the same as that for beatification. If favorable, the Pope instructs the Congregation accordingly. Preparations for canonization then proceed. Canonization is understood as a confirmation that the individual has entered into the eternal Kingdom of God. The Pope is considered infallible in his declaration. With canonization, the Blessed acquires the title of “Saint,” and the individual is allowed full veneration throughout the Universal Church.

There is also something called “Equivalent Canonization.” This occurs when the Pope, omitting the usual judicial process and ceremonies, orders a Servant of God to be venerated in the Universal Church. This can happen when such a person has been an object of veneration by God’s people for a long period of time. Even though this has not been the case with anyone in recent years, it seems to me that it fits our Servant of God, Demetrius A. Gallitzin.

In 1852, John W. Barber and his wife Elizabeth published a book in which they wrote about Demetrius Augustus Gallitzin, “a Catholic clergyman of Cambria County, Pennsylvania, who was born at Munster, Germany.” At the end of a poem about Gallitzin, they wrote: “Servant of God, well done! Well done!” Already 153 years ago, he appeared to be considered a Servant of God. Actually, he has been ever since.

So many of our people have felt and continue to feel that the Servant of God Gallitzin is already a saint. We need your assistance in documenting this phenomenon of his cult. I invite you to check out our new Website at “”