There are three exciting developments regarding Cora's cause. First, Bishop Richard Garcia, the bishop of Monterrey, California, the diocese where Cora was resident at the time of her death in 1957, formally opened the cause for her canonization. Secondly, Bishop Garcia appointed Fr. Joseph Grimaldi, J.C.L. "as postulator for the cause of the lay faithful, known for her holiness, Cora Evans." This step formally makes her a Servant of God. Fr. Grimaldi’s appointment is good news as he served as Promoter of Justice for the cause of the recently canonized St. Damien of Molokai.
The promotor iustitiae was formerly known, at least popularly, as the "devil’s advocate" (i.e., advocatus diaboli), formally called the promotor fidei (i.e., promoter of faith). So, Fr. Grimaldi’s role in Cora’s cause will be the exact opposite of the canonical duties he performed in the cause of St. Damien. As postulator for Cora’s cause, Grimaldi will serve as what used to be called advocatus Dei, or God’s advocate, promoting her canonization and stating the case for her being raised to the altar, whereas when he served as Promoter of Justice it was his job to examine the accuracy of everything submitted in favor of Fr. Damien’s canonization and to scrutinize claims made on behalf of his holiness, not with an eye towards preventing his canonization, but to insure the honesty and integrity of the proceedings.
One famous and recent example of the role of the Promoter of Justice was to have Christopher Hitchens, author of the scathing book The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice, testify before the Congregation for the Causes of Saints against Bl. Teresa being recognized as a saint of the church, an experience he described in his article, "Less Than Miraculous," as "representing the Evil One, as it were, pro bono."
Finally, back in February, His Excellency, Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco (formerly bishop of Salt Lake City), granted an imprimatur for Prayer for the Intercession of Cora Evans, composed by her long-time confessor and spiritual director, Fr. Frank Parrish, S.J. I encourage any who read this blog to bring any particular needs to Cora, asking for her intercession. Below is the approved prayer:
First - Visit the Blessed Sacrament
Cora prayed that she would be given the same gift as Saint Therese, the Little Flower,
spending her heaven on earth doing good. But, first visit the Blessed Sacrament.
Second - The Prayer - Ask Cora to intercede in your behalf
Dearest Jesus, You blessed Cora Evans with many supernatural mystical gifts as a means of drawing us to a deeper and more intimate union with your Sacred Heart through Your Divine Indwelling, Your Mystical Humanity. I ask You through her intercession to help me in my special request (name the favor) and my efforts to do Your will here on earth and be with You, Your Blessed Mother, Saint Joseph and the whole Court of Heaven forever.
Third - Say three times
The Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.
To read more about Cora, please visit this link.
While I am on the subject of recently opened causes for canonization, I cannot help but mention that of Dorothy Day, who once averred that she did not want to be a saint because she did not want to be dismissed that easily. Specifically, I draw your attention, dear reader, to Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete’s article, which appeared in Il Sussidiario (an on-line effort to which I make an occasional contribution), “Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement."