Mayo priest to be exhumed in step towards canonisation
Venerable Fr Patrick Peyton coined ‘family that prays together stays together’ phrase
Pope Francis: towards the end of 2017, he named Fr Patrick Peyton as Venerable in recognition of his “heroic virtue”. Photograph: Ettore Ferrari/AFP/Getty Images
Relatives of an Irish-born priest who drew millions to his worldwide Family Rosary rallies in the 1940s and 1950s have confirmed his body is to be exhumed as part of a process which it is hoped will lead to his canonisation.
Late last year, in recognition of his “heroic virtue” Fr Peyton was named as Venerable by Pope Francis.
This is one of the final stages in the lengthy process towards beatification.
As Fr Peyton moves closer to becoming a saint, his body is to be exhumed prior to an examination by medical professionals to officially identify the remains, report on their condition, and collect relics.
Details on the time and location of the exhumation are not being released.
Tommy Peyton, one of the priest’s six nephews and two nieces, says he believes the exhumation at Boston College will take place before June.
The remains are expected to be reinterred at the Holy Cross headquarters – the order to which Fr Peyton belonged – in New York.
In recent years, the Fr Peyton Memorial Centre was established in Attymass. It attracts thousands of pilgrims and visitors every year.
Attymass resident John O’Hara, a member of Mayo County Council, said on Monday everyone locally was excited at the prospect of their famous predecessor becoming a saint: “It [sainthood] would be good for Attymass and for north Mayo.”