Bruno Lanteri is much more than the founder of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary. His influence and spirituality have impacted the Catholic faith, religious communities and believers around the world for hundreds of years. Were Venerable Lanteri to be canonized, it would recognize his contributions, his special relationship with God in Heaven, and the lasting power of his encouraging and hopeful messages in modern times.
Even with dedicated supporters, the process for canonizing Catholic saints can take many years and even centuries. In Bruno Lanteri’s case, it has been 90 years since his Cause was opened. It is still underway today.
Who Was Bruno Lanteri?
Serving in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy, Bruno Lanteri (1759-1830) was a priest who lived in a very challenging time for Catholics. In addition to facing anti-Christian politics and culture, a widespread theological movement called Jansenism was highly restrictive and discouraging with a focus on sinfulness and human depravity. No one was good enough.
Under the guidance of a Jesuit priest named Father Nikolaus von Diessbach, Lanteri came to the idea that God is love and His mercy offers us new beginnings no matter our imperfections. From then on, Lanteri worked tirelessly to offer spiritual direction, support fellow Catholics and care for the needy. In one generation, his spirituality helped move the Catholic community from despair to hope, as shown in the Nunc Coepi prayer he introduced.
If I should fail,
even if it were
a thousand times,
I will not be troubled
I will not lose courage,
but say immediately
and with peace,
Nunc Coepi, Now I Begin
Catholic Canonization of Bruno Lanteri
The first of many sainthood requirements is that a case is made for a person’s candidacy, often at the local level where the candidate lived. When Bruno Lanteri died in 1830, there was a desire from the Oblates and others to introduce his cause for canonization. They gathered testimonies from people who knew him and witnessed his ministry, his person and his impact. However an official cause for canonization was not submitted until years later.
As a small group, it was difficult for the Oblates to move the cause forward. In 1870, a biography about Bruno Lanteri was written by Dr. Gastalei at the same time that there was a surge in vocations to the Oblates. Once World War I ended, the Oblates decided to plan a celebration of the centenary of Lanteri in 1930, reigniting the interest in his canonization once more.
Becoming a Servant of God
Starting in 1926, Fr. Tomaso Piatti was tasked with compiling all the information and evidence needed to put forth Lanteri’s official Cause. He gathered Lanteri’s writings and letters and contacted bishops and people who knew Lanteri so that the Church could verify his life and holiness.
By 1930, Fr. Piatti completed the documentation and the Oblates began contacting bishops around the world to get their help in promoting the Cause. (One of the bishops they contacted would soon become Pope Pius XII.) Once a bishop agreed to move forward, Bruno Lanteri was granted the title of Servant of God.
After his Positio (or Cause summary) was reviewed by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Bruno Lanteri was determined to have lived a life of Heroic Virtue. He was given the title of Venerable by the decree of Pope Paul VI in 1965.
Since this time, the Oblates of the Virgin Mary have continued to carry out Ven. Lanteri’s work through our ministries, leading Ignatian retreats and offering the Spiritual Exercises, sacraments, formation for priests and laity, and spiritual direction around the world.
Beatification & Canonization
For Bruno Lanteri, the final stages of being canonized as a saint require credible proof that two miracles have occurred due to his intercession. Once the first miracle is confirmed by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Lanteri is eligible to be declared Blessed by the Pope. With a second confirmed miracle, the Pope can publicly confirm that God has welcomed Bruno Lanteri into heaven and encourage the public to venerate him as a saint and imitate his life of virtue.
How You Can Help
The path to sainthood requires commitment and community with each step. You, too, can be a part of Venerable Lanteri’s legacy in a number of ways and support his canonization.
Read and Spread His Teachings
The best way to get to know Bruno Lanteri is to explore his teachings yourself. We’ve made it easy by posting his writings on our website. A good place to start is with his counsels of mercy, which have also been translated into Spanish and French. You can also learn more about his teachings and spirituality in our Overcoming Spiritual Discouragement virtual workshop. We encourage you to share his work with others and help people come to know and love him as we do.
Pray With Ven. Lanteri
We offer a number of resources for praying with Lanteri so that you can ask for special favors through his intercession. To encourage people all over the world, the prayer for the intercession of Venerable Bruno Lanteri is available in Spanish, French, Italian and Tagalog.
Share Answered Prayers
If you receive favors through the prayerful intercession of Ven. Lanteri, please share them with us! We currently track each answered prayer so that we one day might be able to confirm a miracle thanks to his intercession. In addition to demonstrating Lanteri’s role as a powerful intercessor with God, sharing answered prayers might encourage others to seek God’s love and guidance.
Imitate His Good Works
Saints inspire us to live faithfully according to God’s will. In addition to prayers, consider the ways in which you might imitate Bruno Lanteri’s Heroic Virtue in your own life. For example, Fr. Bill Brown, OMV, is inspired by Bruno Lanteri’s sharing of Catholic books in the community.
“Lanteri was good about sharing the right book at the right time to make a difference in a person’s life. That’s something that resonates with me, and I try to do the same for others, often recommending Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis, among others.”
Join the Guild
The Venerable Bruno Lanteri Guild works to see that his canonization is completed by promoting his story and asking for his prayers. This growing group doesn’t require a formal commitment and you can connect with other members through a regular newsletter.
Saints are our allies in our prayers to God. Adding Bruno Lanteri to the list of canonized Catholic saints solidifies his place in history, as well as modern-day spirituality. For the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, his canonization would affirm our own vocations and ministries, encouraging other prospective men to join religious life and the priesthood.
More than anything, the canonization of Bruno Lanteri is an opportunity to recognize and share him with people to help them walk with Christ in their lives. He lived with great zeal and purpose despite discouragement, and he continues to offer us the hope to begin again in today’s troubling world.
What questions do you have about Catholic canonization and the case for Bruno Lanteri? Are there other saints to be canonized that you’re interested in? We would love to hear from you.