Saturday, April 22, 2023

Pursuing Sainthood for this Cajun Servant of God


Nonco's road from Acadiana to sainthood is now investigated in Rome

The process for the canonization of a former Acadiana resident on the path to sainthood is still on track with the Diocese of Lafayette completing an investigation into Auguste Robert “Nonco” Pelafigue.

Pelafigue, who currently has the designated title “Servant of God,” has been pushed by many local Catholics to become a saint in the Catholic Church. A ceremony was held this week to close the diocesan phase of the inquiry for Pelafigue’s canonization.

During a ceremony at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Lafayette, Bishop Douglas Deshotel and a notary received the oaths of the people involved in the cause, stating that they have completed their parts in the investigation.

The investigation material will now be taken to Rome, where the Roman phase of the inquiry will occur.

"This has been a necessary arduous process, and today, I thank all of the officials of the Cause, the witnesses, the Nonco Pelafigue Foundation and the staff of the Chancery on behalf of the entire Diocese of Lafayette for the work you have done,” Deshotel said in a prepared statement.

“We must pray that the cause moves forward. We must pray that there is sufficient proof of the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Auguste Pelafigue. And above all, we must pray that the will of God be done."

With the completion of the local inquiry, the documents associated with Pelafigue’s canonization were taken to Msgr. Curtis Mallet to Rome for the next phase of the investigation.

Before the trip, Deshotel said the documents were wrapped in white paper with red bows and brought to the Discalced Carmelite Nuns to pray for “Nonco’s” canonization.

Pelafigue was born in Arnaudville and lived from 1888 to 1977. A teacher at Little Flower School, he joined the Apostleship of Prayer, an organization with French roots dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Pelafigue was reportedly known for his passionate devotion to the Sacred Heart as well as the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Stories of Pelafigue include him walking along rural roads visiting the sick and less fortunate, and tirelessly teaching religion to students.

In tandem with Pelafigue, an effort for the canonization of Charlene Richard is also being forwarded in the diocese. Known as the “Little Cajun Saint,” Richard died at the age of 12 from leukemia.

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