EU founder Robert Schuman on path to sainthood
Pope Francis recognizes the 'heroic virtues' of European statesman.
Robert Schuman, one of the European Union’s founding fathers, has taken step towards becoming a saint of the Roman Catholic Church, according to a decree published by the Vatican on Saturday.
The Vatican said that Pope Francis had recognized the “heroic virtues” of Schuman, a Luxembourg-born French citizen born in 1886 and a devout Catholic.
The promulgation of the decree represents the first step in the Catholic Church’s long path towards sanctification, and grants Schuman the title of “venerable.”
Schuman, described in the decree as a “faithful layman,” played a key role in reconstructing post-war Europe, and along with other political leaders like Jean Monnet, had an instrumental role in setting up the current EU institutions.
He served as the first president of the European Parliament, where a traineeship program named after him draws in scores of applicants each year from across the bloc. He died in 1963, aged 77.
In order to continue on his path towards sainthood, Schuman would have to have two miracles attributed to him, according to the BBC.
The Vatican decree also recognized the heroic virtues and miracles of other men and women, including 10 nuns killed by Soviet troops in Poland at the end of World War II.