I am presently engaged in a writing project, a component of which pertains to Pauline Jaricot. She was recently declared Blessed in the Catholic Church (May, 2022).

I am inclined to call January 9 her "Feast Day"; but, despite what Wikipedia indicates, I am wondering if "Feast Day" is the proper way to refer to the day of her death---thinking, perhaps, that only Saints have Feast Days. Of course, I could be wrong. (I recall having read somewhere that some "Feast Days" are actually, more properly speaking, "Memorials."

QUESTION: Regarding Blessed Pauline Jaricot, how shall I refer to January 9---her Feast Day'', her Memorial'', or perhaps, the "day" which "Commemorates" her death? Also, if someone could shine some light on how to do the same for Venerables, such as Ven. Fulton J. Sheen, it would be much appreciated. Thank you.

2 Answers 2


Do Venerables and Blesseds Have Liturgical Feast Days in the Catholic Church?

Venerables do not have any liturgical Feast day within the Catholic Church. It is strictly forbidden to accord them such honours, as they have not been declared as being in heaven. Once the person's Heroic Virtues have been recognized by a pope, they may be called Venerable. The faithful are required not to address Venerables as Blessed or Saints. This can actually impede the process of beatification and canonization. Only the pope can accord someone the privilege of a cult.

Blesseds have a liturgical feast day, but their liturgical celebrations are limited to the local level of a diocese or Religious Order.

On a private level, one may celebrate their feast day, if one has a particular devotion to a particular blessed. Such private celebrations, must not have any public devotions.

With the beatification rite, conducted on the authority of the Supreme Pontiff, the Venerable Servant of God is declared Blessed, e.g. Blessed John Paul II.

Blesseds may receive public veneration at the local or regional level, usually restricted to those dioceses or religious institutes closely associated with the person's life. "Public veneration" in this use of the term doesn't mean that it is done in public; rather,that it is an act done by the clergy, or delegated laity, in the name of the Church (Mass, Divine Office, images in churches etc.), even if done in private. On the other hand, "private veneration" means veneration by individuals or groups acting in their own name, even if done "in public." While the Church restricts the public venration of Blesseds, Catholics are free to privately venerate them.

The reason for this distinction and its disciplinary norm is that beatification is not considered an infallible papal act, and so it is not yet appropriate that the entire Church give liturgical veneration to the Blessed. Perhaps to reinforce this distinction, Pope Benedict XVI has restored the practice, in use prior to Pope Paul VI, of having the Prefect of the Congregation conduct the beatification, rather than the Pope doing it himself. He has made exceptions, one of which is his predecessor, Pope John Paul II.

In the case of Blessed John Paul II, the Holy See in a Decree Concerning the Liturgical Cult of Blessed John Paul II has determined that public veneration is lawful in the Diocese of Rome and the nation of Poland. Other nations, dioceses and institutes may petition the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for the Indult to render cultus (veneration) to the Blessed. Without an Indult, however, public veneration is illicit, and even harms the possiblility for Canonization of the Blessed. - The Process of Beatification and Canonization

It is interesting to note that Pauline Jaricot’s beatification was presided over by Cardinal Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle who was the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. This Roman Congregation was in essence founded by Blessed Pauline Jaricot!

It would be of interest to see if the decree of beatification of Pauline Jaricot allows for her cult to extend of missionary land or simply the Archdiocese of Lyons, France?

  • Many thanks for this answer. The story of Pauline Jaricot is a most interesting one. Among many things, she was the catalyst for the Cure of Ars' special devotion to St. Philomena. In fact, Bl. Pauline was actually cured by St. Philomena; and as a result, if I recall correctly, led to her (Philomena's) canonization. Moreover, like Ven. Leo Dupont, she was born into a privileged family and embarked on the path of holiness at a very early age. Like Ven. Dupont, she devoted much time and effort to noble causes; however, her trusting nature led to her economic ruin.
    – DDS
    Commented Oct 3, 2022 at 3:53
  • Leading the Cure of Ars to utter these words in consolation to her: ``Through the Hands of The Blessed Virgin, The Good God Frequently Grants One of the Greatest Gifts an Understanding of the Way of the Cross.'' --- Though, as far as I recall, she never complained; which, according to the good Cure, is a characteristic of the Saints. Thanks again.
    – DDS
    Commented Oct 3, 2022 at 3:56
  • Blessed Pauline, "Pray for us."
    – DDS
    Commented Oct 3, 2022 at 3:57

Blesseds can be said to have a feast day, but because they are not canonized, their cult is restricted to areas related to their life so only those can observe the feast day ordinarily. For example, most blessed Popes have feast days within Rome but not elsewhere and a blessed of a religious order would be observed within that order but not generally.

Venerables do not have a feast day because they are not yet declared to be in heaven so it's not approved to give liturgical devotion in their honor.

  • Thank you for posting this answer. Incidentally, I was a little surprised when I read in en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauline_Jaricot that Pauline Jaricot was beatified in Lyons, France. I know that is where she was from, but I thought that canonizations and the like occurred in Rome.
    – DDS
    Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 19:19
  • @I.Chekhov Tradition holds that the pope presides over canonizations only, the only pope to differentiate himself with this was Pope St. John Paul Il. Pope John Paul Il presided over both canonizations and beatifications. Pope Benedict reverted to signing the beatification documents and allowing the prefect of the Congregation for the canonization and beatification of Saints to promulgated the decree of beatifications, occasionally another cardinal would do it.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 23:12

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