Vatican City (Tuesday, 11/11/2014, Gaudium Press) On November 7, Pope Francis declared the Servant of God, Redemptorist Fr. Pelágio Sauter , CSsR (1878-1961), to be Venerable, authorizing the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate the Decree on his heroic virtues.
A short biographical profile of the Venerable Fr. Pelágio Sauter, CSsR
Fr. Pelágio Sauter was born on September 9, 1878, in Hausen am Thann (Württemberg, Germany), to Matthias and Martha who had 14 other children. At sixteen he entered the Redemptorist seminary in Bachham. In 1902 he made his religious profession in Gars am Inn and was ordained a priest in Deggendorf on June 16, 1907.
Having accepted the invitation to be sent as a missionary to Brazil, he set out, arriving in Rio de Janeiro with four other confreres on August 4, 1907, never to return to his homeland.
In his 52 years of living in Brazil, he spent the first 10 in São Paulo, working in various parishes, and the other 42 in Goiás. His favorite apostolate was the itinerant mission in the most abandoned areas of the region. Evangelizing in hundreds of small towns, arriving nearly always on horseback, the simple people learned to know and esteem him as a man of God.
The place that most benefited from his apostolic presence was Trindade (GO), where the faithful, on pilgrimage to the famous shrine dedicated to the Most Holy Trinity (Divine Eternal Father), had the opportunity to listen to him and receive his blessing.
Fr. Pelágio is considered, above all else, the priest of the poor and the comfort of the sick. In the last five years of his life, in fact, he devoted himself almost exclusively to the pastoral care of the sick. His last illness, which led to his death, is itself linked to a visit to a sick person. In fact, surprised by rain during his return to the community, he was first forced to go to bed for a bad cold and then to be admitted to the Santa Casa de Misericordia [hospital] in Goiás. Overcome by pulmonary emphysema, he died at 1:00 p.m. on November 23, 1961 at the age of 82.
The whole city of Goiânia attended the funeral and the Regional Government decreed three days of mourning. A crowd of about 30 thousand people attended his funeral. Considered a national hero, several monuments were erected, streets and city squares were dedicated to him, and organizations were established in his name.
As a result of the many extraordinary graces attributed to his intercession, Fr. Pelágio is still remembered today as “the apostle of Goiás and the missionary of the people.”
The Diocesan Process about his life, virtues and reputation for holiness, begun on November 23, 1997, in the Mother Church of Campinas, was closed in the presence of a multitude of the faithful, in the Sanctuary of the Divine Eternal Father in Trindade (GO) on March 21 1999.(by Fr. Antonio Marrazzo, CSsR, translated by Fr. Joseph P. Dorcey, CSsR)