By Anton Witwer, SJ, former Postulator of the Society of Jesus
When the Church beatifies a person who died more than 300 years, we
always want to know why. What does the person still have to tell us? What is
his message, and what does the beatification mean to people today? Every
beatification should be desired by the Christian faithful and should contribute
to the deepening of their life of faith.
The faithful’s desire was certainly evident in
the celebration of the beatification of Fr Philipp Jeningen, which was led by
the Archbishop of Luxembourg, Card. Jean-Claude Hollerich, SJ. A large number of
the faithful gathered for the celebration on the square in front of St Vitus
Basilica, where Fr Philipp is buried. The trait that best characterised the new
Blessed was summed up well by Card. Hollerich, who said in his homily that Fr
Philipp’s great joy was faith in God.