8 Things to know about Sister Stefani’s road to Sainthood
As Sister Irene Stefani’s beatification goes on in Nyeri, here are some facts about the selfless Consolata nun and the steps that make one to be beatified and eventually canonized in the Catholic church;
1. Sister Stefani, popularly known as Nyaatha, arrived in Kenya in 1915 and died 15 years later after she contracted a plague that she was treating locals of. She was only 39 years-old when she died. Her Kikuyu name “Nyaatha” loosely translates to mother of sympathy.
2. On July 22 1985, Stefani was declared a Servant of God, the first step to the canonization process to sainthood that is given to a person whose life and service has been investigated in consideration for sainthood.
3. Stefani was declared to have lived a life of heroic virtue on April 2 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI making her to be called ‘Venerable Irene Stefani’.
4. Pope Francis then later on June 12 2014 approved a decree that recognized a miracle attributed to her intercession and her beatification was set for May 23 2015 in Nyeri.
5. The extraordinary miracle that was attributed to her intervention happened at a local church in Napepe, Mozambique where catechists from different parishes who were isolated together with other people who had sort refuge in the church in 1989 prayed through Sister Irene and baptismal water was increased, allowing them to use it for three-and-a-half days for drinking and bathing.
6. After her beatification ceremony, she will be referred to as ‘The Blessed Servant of God Irene Stefani’ and will only be a step away to sainthood.
7. She will be the first to be proclaimed as a Blessed Servant of God in Kenya, and the second in the Consolata Missionaries after its founder, Blessed Joseph Allamano.
8. After she is beatified, a second miracle will be required attributed to prayers made to her as ‘the Blessed’ then she can be declared a saint.