December 7, 2015

I was exceedingly pleased to learn Pope Francis has canonized a married couple (WCR, Oct. 26). Even so, it tends to reinforce the idea that "even married people" can go to heaven - something that is not self-evident given that the vast majority of saints recognized by the Catholic Church have been ordained persons.

One cannot help but wonder why more married people have not been canonized. Is it because married people do not go to heaven once they die or has it to do with the limited or negative view of the married state of much of the Catholic hierarchy?

I can think of many individuals who led an exemplary life here in the early days of Western Canada. Those include my maternal grandparents, especially my grandmother Kate who migrated to Alberta in 1908, arriving with three children. Her husband John had come a short time before to build a house.

Within two years, the three children were dead from scarlet fever.

Subsequently, John and Kate had 11 more children - three of whom died at a young age, two in the great flu epidemic. The eight surviving children grew up as devout and practising Catholics, as did their children.

Obviously, John and Kate instilled in their children a sound understanding of the Catholic faith. I firmly believe they are in heaven as are all their children.

While I am not aware of any "miracles" as a result of their intercession, maybe the fact that the vast majority of their several hundred descendants are practising Catholics is a testament to their intercession.

I am sure there are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of similar cases here in Western Canada. Yet, I have never heard of any of these married people ever being canonized. Why?

Wilbur Colin