She died at 12 and is already known as the Little Cajun Saint
Diocese of Lafayette | Facebook | Fair Use
Larry Peterson - published on 08/22/20
People quickly claimed that the prayers of little Charlene Richard were bringing about miracles.
Joesph and Mary Alice Richard were part of the Cajun community of Richard, Louisiana. Joe and Mary Alice would eventually have 10 children together. The second oldest, named Charlene, was as average as she could be. She was considered smart, but so were other children. She was a devout Catholic, as were other children, and she played sports and said her Rosary. She even got into a bit of trouble just like the other kids. But unlike the other children in her community, she passed away when she was only 12 — from leukemia.
The road to becoming a canonized saint in the Catholic Church is not an easy one. Many times it takes centuries before someone is declared a saint. There must be no mistakes about a candidate’s life and the path he or she followed. Investigation begins in the person’s home town, and follows the life of the proposed candidate. In today’s modern age, the process starts when the local bishop agrees to take up the cause for a person nominated by the local community.
Local Catholics will have compiled a dossier on the individual, attesting to his or her character and faithfulness. The bishop appoints a postulator who does a thorough investigation. After several years or longer, the bishop may declare the person a Servant of God and refer them to the Vatican’s panel for Saints’ Causes. Then begins step two in the process.
So while Charlene Richard is already recognized by many as the Little Cajun Saint, she still has a long path to follow before an eventual canonization.