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Religion of Sunday, 16 June 2013

Source: XYZ

Ghana to get first Saint

Ghana is on the way to getting its first Saint in the Catholic Church.

The Church, with the endorsement of the Vatican, has started processes for the beatification of Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Porekuu Dery, who died 15 years ago.

The beatification will then pave the way for his canonisation into Sainthood, thus eventually becoming Ghana’s first Catholic Saint.

Beatification is a recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a dead person's entrance into Heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his or her name.

It is the third of the four steps in the canonisation process.

A person who is beatified is given the title "Blessed".

Cardinal Peter Porekuu Dery will thus be referred to as the "Blessed Dery" after his beatification.

The beatification process was announced by Ghana’s Vice President, Mr. Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, who was the Guest of honour at the launch of the Cardinal Dery Foundation in Tamale on Saturday June 15, 2013.

The Foundation aims to promote the legacy of the second Catholic Cardinal of Ghana who was also the first and only Cardinal from the Northern part of Ghana.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur, in his commemorative speech, said Cardinal Dery was not only a devoted priest, but also “a social worker, an economic catalyst, a cultural innovator and a Statesman” who had a unique ability that transcended "social barriers and ethnic prejudices".

He said Cardinal Dery, who undertook his evangelisation mostly in the Upper West region, “made the liturgy of mass meaningful to Worshippers by translating it from Latin into local languages and had it sung in local languages to the accompaniment of local musical instruments”.

According to the Vice President, Cardinal Dery remains celebrated for his abhorrence of “religious bigotry, ethnic differentiation and political conflict”.