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Smiling Argentine nun on the road to canonization


General Curia of the Discalced Carmelites

Philip Kosloski - published on 02/20/24

Sister Cecilia, a Carmelite of Santa Fe in Argentina, captivated the world in 2016 with her infectious smile while suffering from cancer.

In 2016 social media was ablaze with the pictures of a smiling nun, with the caption that the nun was near the moment of death.

While the picture was not taken at the moment of her death, it was a picture of a joyous and smiling nun who embraced her suffering.

Sister Cecilia, a Carmelite of Santa Fe in Argentina, was suffering from lung cancer in 2016 and died on June 23 at the age of 43.

At the time Aleteia was able to obtain an interview with the Carmelites and related more information about Sister Cecilia.

Despite her illness, she did not lose her joy, which was sustained by the support of her numerous family members, who remained close by. Joyful nieces and nephews congregated in the gardens outside the hospital where she was admitted for some weeks, sending her messages and helium balloons to distract and entertain her from the window.

Those who saw her spoke of her face as showing peace and joy — as someone awaiting the encounter with the One to whom she had given her life, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

On the road to canonization

According to the Catholic News Agency, “The archbishop of Santa Fe de la Vera Cruz in Argentina, Sergio Fenoy, signed the edict that begins the process prior to the opening of the cause of canonization of Sister Cecilia María of the Holy Face.”

This is the very beginning stages of her cause for canonization and will include an in-depth study of her life, to determine if she lived a life of heroic virtue.

Once that has been established, her cause will move to Rome, where they will consider her case and decide if she should be declared venerable.

At the moment, she is referred to as a Servant of God.

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