January 23, 1998 – Dr. Anissa, having executed a biopsy of the tissue of the uterus of her patient Ms. Gaetanina “Ida” Meloro, announced to her the results: “Squamous Carcinoma Papillary”.
January 27, 1998 – Dr. Denehy, oncologist, gave the following diagnosis – “Stage 3B Squamous Cell Carcinoma of vagina with a 4×6 cm mass, in the rectovaginal septum.”
January 30, 1998 – The director of the Laboratory Corporation of America, Dr. Arundhati Chatterjee, added the following statement, “High grade squamous intraepithelial lesion severe dysplasia CINS.”
With the news of the poor prognosis, Ms. Meloro entrusted herself, with the help of the Vocationist Fathers and Sisters and of her mother and friends, to the intercession of the Fr. Justin Russolillo, proclaimed Venerable on December 18, 1997. She received many prayer cards with his picture, and promised to make her case public in case of a miraculous healing. Meanwhile, she prayed constantly.
May, 20, 1998 – Dr. Denehy, Ms. Meloro’s oncologist, told her: “I have good news for you. I don’t see any sign of the cancer in your body. Your tumor is in remission … Somebody from above took a great interest in you”.
June 12, 1998 – Dr. Denehy admitted to be “surprised” by the disappearance of the carcinoma in such short time, since the tumor measured 4×6 cm.
June 23, 1998 – Ida Meloro declared to have received a miracle.
March 2, 1999 – Dr. Ralph Eastman, oncologist and radiologist, having seen the total healing of Ms. Meloro, spoke of “a rather unusual outcome, even in combination with chemotherapy”.
August 23, 2000, September 25, 2002 and March 27, 2003 – In three different dates, Dr. Denehy stated that there was no sign of cancer in her patient Gaetanina Meloro. Her prognosis was excellent.
October 29, 2003 – Fr. Giacomo Capraro, S.D.V., Postulator, hand delivered to Mons. Michele Di Ruberto, Undersecretary of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, a dossier of the alleged miraculous cure of Ms. Meloro, in order to be submitted to medical consultation. Professor Nino Pasetto, former Director of the Clinic of Gynecology of the University of Roma Tor Vergata, medical expert of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, examined the dossier of the alleged miracle and gave the following response: “The complete healing of the patient (Gaetanina Meloro) from a tumor developed in the vaginal septum, qualified by the oncologist as carcinoma of the uterus measuring 4×6 cm, is a progression clinically unexplainable.”
December 30, 2003 – After receiving the positive response from Prof. Nino Pasetto, the Postulator, who was favorable toward the miraculous healing, in order to establish an Ecclesiastical Tribunal, sent a petition to Mons. Frank Joseph Rodimer, Bishop of Paterson Diocese (NJ – USA), where the miraculous healing took place.
April 14, 2004 – The Bishop of Paterson after an attentive study of the dossier, in observance of the norms of the process, signed a decree to erect an Ecclesiastic Tribunal.
November 8, 2004 – The new elected Bishop of Paterson, Mons. Arthur Serratelli noticing that the procedure was not being followed properly, suppressed the Tribunal erected on April 14 and erected a new Ecclesiastical Tribunal to continue the diocesan process.
December 2, 2005 – The Postulator, according the Norms of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints, sent to Mons. Edward Kurtyka, Judicial Vicar, the joint opinion of the three medical experts of the Hospital Fatebenefratelli of Napoli – Italy. They attested the clinically inexplicable healing of Gaetanina Meloro.
October 31, 2005 – Mons. Edward Kurtyka announced that the work on the diocesan process on the alleged miraculous healing of Meloro had finished.
November 14, 2005 – At the at the presence of Bishop Arthur Serratelli and the members of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal, at the Diocesan Center of Paterson, the documents of the diocesan process were sealed in a special package to be sent to the Vatican.
December 30, 2005 – Mons. Edward Kurtyka sent the package containing the documents for the healing of Gaetanina Meloro and the process of Beatification of Fr. Justin Russolillo to Mons. Gabriele Montalvo, the Apostolic Nuncio in The United States, with the request to be forwarded to the Vatican.
February 8, 2006 – The Postulator formally requested to the Prefect of the Causes of Saints to obtain the decree for the opening of the sealed package and the verification of the process executed in Paterson.
March 9, 2007 – The Congregation for the Causes of Saints after examining the Paterson diocesan process and receiving the needed clarifications, released the decree of validity of the process of the gathered information.
July 2007 – The new appointed Undersecretary of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Mons. Aldo Bartolucci asked the Postulator to organize the “Summarium” of the miraculous healing by putting each English page with the respective translation in Italian.
September 14, 2007 – The “Summarium” was delivered to the Vatican office.
July 8, 2008 – The “Summarium” was revised.
August 5, 2008 – The Postulator, upon the recommendation of the Congregation, sent the chronology of the miracle to be printed.
October 21, 2008 – Dr. Prof. Emilio Piccione, medical expert of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints, ordinary of Gynecology of the University of Roma Tor Vergata, gave his medical response by attesting that the miraculous healing of Meloro was clinically unexplainable, based on the medical knowledge of the time.
June 18, 2009 – The medical consulters of the Vatican affirmed that the healing was scientifically unexplainable.
December 12, 2009 – The Congress of the Theological Consulters issued positive judgment upon the miracle.
June 1, 2010 – The positive judgment of the Consulters was confirmed on June 1, 2010 by the commissions of the Cardinals.
July 1, 2010 – Pope Benedict XVI recognized definitively the miracle!
On December 18, 1997, Pope John Paul II officially declared that Fr. Justin had practiced the Christian Virtues in a heroic manner and was therefore raised to the dignity of title of “Venerable.”
After an exhaustive investigation by the Church, Pope Benedict XVI signed the Decree of Validity that recognized the miracle as true on July 1, 2010. As a result of this miracle, on May 7, 2011, Fr. Justin was beatified and given the title and honor of “Blessed”.
April 15, 2016 – Jean Emilie Rasolofo was born in Madagascar in 1984. He was resident in the community of Quarto of Naples, Italy. On the evening of April 15, 2016, Jean Emilie suffered a severe headache after dinner. On the following day, he was absent from the morning religious prayers at the Lodi, and for supper later in the day. A brother found him on the floor in his chamber in a pool of his own blood. He was urgently transported to the Emergency Room of the Civil Hospital in Pozzuoli, where he arrived unconscious. He was intubated and subjected to assisted breathing. On April 18, his clinical condition was extremely serious.
Warned of Jean Emilie’s serious condition by his doctors, the Superior General sent a message to all Vocationists asking for prayers to Father Justin for the healing of that young man. He sent a five-language plea together with Jean Emilie’s picture to religious of the Congregation worldwide. He asked them to pray in every community and parish the novena to the Blessed Founder for the healing of the young religious. On April 18, 2016, a Vocationist brother brought the image of Blessed Father Justin with his relic to Jean Emilie’s hospital room. The individual and community prayers resulted in an unexpectedly quick positive result.
April 21, 2016 – Jean Emilie’s clinical conditions improved rapidly, and he was out of the coma state.
May 3, 2016 – He was completed healed without any side effects, and is released from the hospital.
The Ordinary Congregation of Bishops and Cardinals, members of the Dicastery for the Causes of the Saints, has recognized the miracle of the cure of Jean Emile to be attributed to Blessed Father Justin.
With this last step, we consider complete the process of canonization. We now wait for Pope Francis to authorize the publication of the decree that will officially recognize this miracle to be through the intercession of our beloved founder. The wait is shortening, the time for Blessed Justin so dreamed canonization is closer.
April 16, 2021 – Pope Francis will convene a public consistory of Cardinals at the Vatican on Monday, May 3, for the presentation of seven Blessed to be canonized. BLESSED FATHER JUSTIN RUSSOLILLO, founder of the Vocationist Fathers and Sisters, is one of the seven. On this day, we will know the date of the canonization of our Blessed Founder.
May 15, 2022 – Pope Francis canonized 10 saints, including St. Justin Russolillo, founder of the Society of Divine Vocations (Vocationists). The Italian priest founded his new order in 1927, hoping to foster vocations among the faithful.
Fr. Justin established the Vocationist Fathers and their special charism to foster and promote vocations to the priesthood, religious life, and holiness among all God’s people. To carry on this vocational work Fr. Justin established the Vocationary, a special house of formation that would supply vocations to both religious order and diocesan seminaries. His work was not restricted to Italy, as it started to expand around the world.
Fr. Louis Caputo explains the Vocationist presence in the USA, “We Vocationists came to the United States and this area because Josephine, sister of St. Justin, lived in Asbury Park, and it was the saint’s desire to open a mission here … As such, St. Michael of Newark became the first parish that welcomed Spanish-speakers in 1964, then later, immigrants from Cuba and Puerto Rico. Today, we still maintain the only Catholic school in the area. The figure of this saint must be known not only in our archdiocese but throughout the United States because he is a universal soul. Based on the principle that we are all called to be saints and that it is through the church and priests that universal holiness is promoted.
To celebrate the canonization of St. Justin, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, Archbishop of Newark, celebrated a special Mass of Thanksgiving for the diocese and the Vocationists serving in the area on Sunday, May 29th, 2022.
In everything and for everything, God be praised and glorified!