Chapter 6

Pope Francis Declares Father Peyton Venerable

Inspiration for Families Worldwide

Pope Francis Declares Father Patrick Peyton, C.S.C., to be Venerable

On Monday, December 18, Pope Francis promulgated the decree recognizing the heroic virtues of Father Patrick Peyton, a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross, thus recognizing him as Venerable by the Roman Catholic Church.

The Positio on the life, virtues and reputation of holiness of Father Peyton had previously been discussed and approved by a panel of nine theologians and more recently by a group of 15 Cardinals and Archbishops who voted affirmatively to recognize his heroic virtues. The Positio refers to the volume containing the evidence that was collected from witness testimonies and supporting documents during inquiries carried out by special tribunals in several dioceses.

Hundreds of testimonies to Father Peyton’s heroic virtue and holiness of life have been recorded.

Please join us in celebrating this joyful news!

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Saints - Why?

The Church canonizes holy people not for their sakes, but to present them to the faithful as models of the Christian life and as powerful intercessors. In their triumph over the challenges of life through faith, we are inspired to trust God more fully and to serve others more generously.

Father Peyton and Mother Teresa

Father Peyton and Mother Teresa.

Saints - How?

The Church studies the life and works of those who are being proposed for canonization for evidence of the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit, for humility and prudence and prayerfulness, and for the theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity.

The Church also wants evidence that after their deaths the memory of these individuals continues to inspire the faithful to pursue holiness and to seek their intercession, so reports of favors requested and received must be kept. Extraordinary healings must have medical records, doctors' assessments, and proof that the healing is attributable to the person being proposed for Beatification/Canonization.

Father Peyton explains the Rosary to a little girl in Africa.

Father Peyton explains the Rosary to a little girl in Africa.


Stage 1

Servant of God

Promoter group asks the bishop to open an investigation. If granted, Servant of God describes someone at this stage of the process. Then a diocesan inquiry begins:

a. Testimony is gathered to examine heroic virtue and the sanctity of life.
b. Candidate's historical and theological writings gathered and reviewed.
c. If approved, all collected documentation is sent to Rome. The Postulator writes a formal summary of the heroic virtues and life of holiness of the candidate (Positio), which is sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints at the Vatican for review.

Stage 2


The candidate is declared Venerable after a favorable judgment of the documentation by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and Papal approval.

Stage 3


The candidate is declared Blessed by the Holy Father once a miracle is investigated and attributed to the intercession of the Venerable.

Stage 4


The Holy Father declares the candidate to be a Saint after a second miracle is attributed to the intercession of the Blessed.

Details on the Current Status of Father Peyton’s Cause

presentation of positio 2015

Presenting the Positio are (left to right) Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C., Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Cardinal Angelo Amato, Father David S. Marcham, Nina Bartulica, and Dr. Andrea Ambrosi.

Venerable Patrick Peyton’s Cause reached a new milestone in April of 2015 with the completion and presentation of the Positio—a 1,300 page report that studied his life and ministry for heroic virtue and sanctity of life (holiness).

The Positio is the synthesis of the Diocesan Inquiry (6,000 page report that included interviews with people from Father Peyton’s life: childhood to death, study of his academic life, ministry, writings, and homilies, etc.) which was conducted in 35 dioceses around the world and completed by the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 2010.


When the Positio was received by the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in 2015, a meeting was scheduled that would set the date for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to study Father Peyton’s life via the Positio. After studying the Positio, they found that he had lived a life of heroic virtue and sanctity of life and recommended to the Holy Father that Father Peyton should be declared “Venerable.”

On Monday, December 18, 2017, Pope Francis issued the decree recognizing the heroic virtues of Father Patrick Peyton, C.S.C. He is now called Venerable Patrick Peyton.

The third stage of Sainthood requires a miracle to be officially attributed to the candidate. Miracles are considered by the Church to be signs of the holiness of the candidate for Sainthood and his or her closeness to God in the afterlife. Their evidence must prove of supernatural healing not explainable by medical treatment or scientific reasoning.

 There have been two possible medical miracles connected to Father Peyton’s intercession that have been studied in their home dioceses. Now that Father Peyton has been declared "Venerable", these possible medical miracles can be reviewed and an opinion can be rendered by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. They will select one of the two and begin their study.

Prayer for the Beatification of Venerable Patrick Peyton

Dear Jesus, Father Peyton devoted his priestly life to strengthening the families of the world by calling them to pray together every day, especially the Rosary. His message is as important for us now as it was during his life on earth.

We beg you, therefore, to hasten the day of his beatification, so that your faithful people everywhere will remember his message that the family that prays together stays together, will imitate him in his devotion to your Mother and ours, and will be inspired by his holy life to draw ever closer to you with childlike confidence and love. Amen.

Request a Prayer

Prayer Requests, Prayers of Petition, or Intercessory Prayers are prayers in which we are asking God to assist us. They are prayers in which we recognize our dependence on God and thus give praise to God.

Prayer for a Favor through Venerable Patrick Peyton, C.S.C.

God, Our Father, your wisdom is displayed in all creation and the power of your grace is revealed in the lives of holy people, who inspire us to trust you more fully and to serve others more generously. In a unique way, you blessed the life and work of your servant, Father Patrick Peyton, C.S.C., and made him a fervent apostle of Mary, Queen of the Holy Rosary and Mother of us all. Through his intercession, we ask for this favor.… Please grant it, if it is for your honor and glory, through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Father David S. Marcham invites those who have received favors through the intercession of Venerable Patrick Peyton in response to prayer requests to forward that information to him. While we accept anonymous requests and reports of favors, it helps the Cause if you provide your contact information, as this allows us to submit a verifiable report to the Vatican.

To report prayers answered, please email Father David S. Marcham at

If you would like to submit a prayer request, you may do so here.

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Stories of Prayers Answered Through Father Peyton’s Intercession

Family United in Prayer

I always wanted to pray the rosary with my wife and children, as Father Peyton says “the family that prays together stays together". So I started by my self, praying the rosary and asking our blessed virgin to intercede so my family will unite to pray it every night. About 2 months after, that miracle came true and now we pray the rosary before bedtime - my wife and me and our 2 kids. What a blessing from Father Peyton, the Rosary has a tremendous amount of power. I’m so thankful because I have my family praying! 


Family of 9 without water

“Last evening, reading the life of Fr. Peyton, I was inspired to pray to our Blessed Mother as he did, asking her to intercede to her Son who would never refuse Her. My daughter and her family of 9 were without water for nearly a week. They were told they had frozen pipes so they had kept heaters in the crawlspace to no avail. This morning, after Mass, I lit a candle before the Blessed Mother and begged for her help once more. A few hours later, my daughter called and joyfully told me they had water again and it wasn't frozen pipes…I know Mary guided her to mention her problem to her insurance agent who gave her the name of an expert who found the problem in half an hour. Thank you for taking the time to read this. My family has always prayed the Rosary at home, in the car, etc. God bless you and your work.”

Heart surgery

“Thanksgiving for prayers answered and a favor granted through Father Peyton’s intercession. My husband had a heart catheterization in December. His heart doctor was going to operate to replace the aorta valve and was completely surprised to find no need for surgery. My husband will be 86 this year.”

Learning to be a good steward

I prayed for my family’s financial challenges, and that God would guide me to be a good steward with our monies. Not long after this prayer, my husband was asked to work an extra day with time and a half pay: this will cover our financial needs for this time period. Thank you Father Peyton for your loving intercession, Amen. - Claire

Encouragement from Father Peyton

Father Peyton’s story shows us the impact of examples who model an enthusiastic faith. God used Fr. Peyton’s parents’ commitment to family prayer and the Rosary to mold their son in holiness. His Marian devotion grew due to the encouragement of Father Hagerty…Since I have been a member of and now serve as president for the Notre Dame chapter of the Militia of the Immaculata (NDMI) and as a catechist in a local South Bend parish, I find myself in a position where I can encourage others in their Marian devotion and continue to grow in mine, in imitation of Fr. Peyton, who was so humble and total in his entrustment to Mary that he called himself ‘Our Lady’s Donkey.’ May we strive to emulate his zeal for family prayer and love for Our Lady, tirelessly serving as ‘Our Lady’s Donkeys’ in our daily lives.

- Mackenzie Kracker, University of Notre Dame, Class of 2019

Mackenzie’s full article on Father Peyton in The Irish Rover can be found here

Healing and positive test results

I am writing to thank God and his Venerable Servant, Father Patrick Peyton for answers to prayers. A routine blood test revealed massive internal bleeding, which could be cancer. I would have to have a colonoscopy and an upper endoscopy, quick and easy tests for most people, but neck down paralysis; dependency on a ventilator to breathe, due to chronic respiratory failure and sleep apnea; and diabetes made the tests riskier for me. The tests were accomplished with no problems. There is no cancer, and the internal bleeding has stopped. God is good! I give thanks also for the medical personnel who took care of me; for Kathy who took the day off from work to stay with me; for Father David Marcham, who prayed and patiently allowed me to express my concerns and pull my thoughts together; and for all those who prayed for me. "Give thanks to the Lord for he is good. His mercy endures forever!" (Psalm 118:1) - Mary-Joyce from Massachusetts

Challenging job

I had requested prayer for my daughter who was studying while working shifts in a challenging job. Thanks be to our great wonderful God and all those united in prayer with me, she secured a distinction and I want to give all the glory and honor to God and also to thank Father Peyton for his intercession and intervention. - Lil from India

Good cancer screens

Thanksgiving to Father Peyton for Chris' good cancer screens; please continue to pray for his back discs now so that he may return to gainful employment as an EMT helping others. - Marie

Drug addiction

Thanksgiving to God and to Father Peyton. A friend has an addiction to prescription drugs. I prayed to Father Peyton for her to recognize her problem. She finally understands that she needs help and has entered a rehabilitation program. Anonymous

New job with increased salary

Thanks be to God for prayer answered. Our daughter was very unhappy at her job and had no prospects for a better one. I prayed that through Father Peyton’s intercession something would come her way. Within a few weeks, she received a wonderful job offer with a substantial increase in salary. Thank you Father Peyton! - Bill

No cancer

In April 2009 I discovered a black little “freckle” on the inside lower eyelid of my right eye. I said a prayer to Father Peyton that it wouldn't be cancerous. It was removed for biopsy and was found to be benign. Thanks for Father Peyton's intercessory prayer. - Denny from California

Free of back pain

My wife and I were in Ireland last September for a few weeks visiting family. I had a lot of problems with my back before I went. It was so bad that I had thought I might have to cancel the trip. In Ireland, we stopped at Knock and stayed in a hotel for a night on our way to Donegal. During the Mass at the Knock Shrine, I prayed to Father Peyton and Our Lady of Knock to make my back better. When Mass was over, I walked out of the church pain free. I have not had pain since. Thank you Father Peyton and Our Lady of Knock. - John from Pennsylvania

Praying together in a happy marriage

I thank Father Peyton for helping with our Father in heaven for his favors granted that my husband is now praying with me mornings and finding contentment with his life and our marriage.
-  Lovena

Drinking problem resolved

Earlier this year I requested a favor, that my youngest son, Michael, stop drinking. I sent for Father Peyton’s tape of the Rosary and have prayed constantly for Michael’s recovery. He stopped drinking nearly two months ago and is regaining the love and trust of his family. I believe the prayer to Father Peyton has helped Michael to come back to us. - Mary

Visa Recieved

Many thanks for your prayers and to Father Patrick Peyton, finally I got my visa. I never stopped hoping and trusting that Father Peyton will be able to get this from the Lord with the help of Mama Mary. I told Mama Mary that I would really want this visa from Father Patrick Peyton's intercession, because he is the one who introduced me to the Holy Rosary. - Maria

Health issues and positive test results

Maria reports that she was experiencing a serious health issue, with a high creatine level in her blood, which can indicate kidney problems. After she and her sister prayed to Father Peyton for his intercession, her latest test results are very positive. “My sister and I met and heard Father Peyton speak when we were still in school,” she writes. “His advocacy about praying together as a family has been ingrained ever since.”

Young boy with a rare form of cancer

Robert’s introduction to Father Peyton was the prayer for his intercession that he was given. He prayed for Father Peyton’s intercession with God for a young boy with a rare form of cancer, who is now in remission. He prayed for another boy with cancer who is also now in remission. After reading the book A Man of Faith, Robert was inspired to pray the Rosary completely, all twenty decades every day. “Father Peyton has been such an inspiration to me,” he writes. “I pray that with his help, I can become a giant for Mary and her Son, just like he was.”

Safe birth of grandchild

When the success of the pregnancy was in danger, Rachel and her family prayed for a safe birth of a grandchild. The child was born prematurely, but in good health. They are grateful to Father Peyton for his intercession.

Husband survived critical illness

Husband survived critical illness: A woman from Minnesota writes that her husband had not been feeling well for some time but resisted her advice to see a doctor. She prayed to Father Peyton for his health. When her husband finally went to the emergency room, his blood count was so low that the doctors couldn’t believe he was still walking around. She credits Father Peyton’s intercession for his survival.

Cancer treatment achieved

A man in the Philippines writes to tell us of his sister, who was suffering from cancer. The family couldn’t afford the expensive chemo treatment, and the situation was becoming dire. He prayed the Rosary, asking for Father Peyton’s intercession. After a month of continuous prayer, a stranger called to say he would pay for the four treatments. His sister continues to do well, and the family is preparing for her radiation treatments.

House sold

A Texas woman needed a financial miracle and prayed to Father Peyton that her house would sell. She writes that her prayer was answered, and she gives thanks to Father Peyton for his intercession.

Family praying together

A mother in North Easton, Massachusetts, wrote to express her gratitude to Father Peyton for answering her prayers. For after visiting the Father Peyton Center she began to ask Father Peyton to intercede for her family that they might remain united in their faith and grow in their love for Our Lady and in their devotion to the Rosary. She began praying the Family Rosary using the Father Peyton’s Rosary Prayer Book and adding the Prayer for his Canonization. She writes that her prayers were readily answered because “before we began this practice I could not settle the five members of my family to say three Hail Mary’s peacefully, let alone five decades of the Rosary. Now we are striving to pray and to reflect on all twenty mysteries each week as well as making Rosaries for the missions. This is truly a miracle that we have received through Father Peyton’s intercession.”

This family is doing what we are asking all those who pray the Rosary at home or in their parish churches to do, namely, to form a Father Peyton Prayer Group by adding the prayer for his canonization at the end of the Rosary and to pray for favors through his intercession. Such prayer groups are springing up all over the country and are yielding great rewards. For not only do their members experience the calming effects of the Rosary prayed together, they also help us lay down the spiritual foundation for Father Peyton’s Cause for Canonization. Furthermore, when they pray for favors through his intercession and ask all of us to join our prayer to theirs, their petitions gain force because they arise from many hearts. Their reports to us, furthermore, provide the evidence of devotion to him that Rome wants and help the Cause along.

Prayers answered

From the Philippines: A man was in financial distress due to a large mortgage on his house. After praying to Father Peyton, he was able to raise the money and the mortgage was settled. He wrote again last January, asking for intercession in another matter. “My brother was hospitalized in France and wanted to come home. Thank you so much, my dearly beloved guardian Father Peyton, for your powerful heavenly intercession. My brother was able to return to us.”

Health regained

A woman from New York writes that her mother, Margaret, was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer in October of 2006 and was given a very poor chance for survival. She is related to a granddaughter of a good friend of Father Peyton’s, so they have been praying to Father Peyton for his intercession in her recovery. Last spring she was examined by her doctor who reported the good news that her cancer seems to be in remission. All of her blood work was perfectly normal, and she has gained back all of her weight. Margaret and her daughter credit Father Peyton’s intercession for her recovery. “I know in my heart that our prayers had something to do with our good news," she writes. “I will be forever thankful.”

Recovery from Meningitis

In 2006, my wife was confined at the hospital in Quezon City, Philippines, because of meningitis, contracted during her work as a medical representative. She was allergic to the standard medications usually given for this illness, and the replacement treatment was usually not as effective. It was a difficult time for us, and we prayed every day for Father Patrick’s intercession. She is now well and completely healed thanks to Father Peyton. - Anjo

Immigration and employment

We received an Australian immigration refusal due to my wife having been a cancer survivor. We prayed to Father Peyton to be granted immigration rights. Our petition has been granted and we are now in Victoria, Australia. I fully believe that our success is due to Father Peyton’s intercession. - Gerardo

I met Father Peyton when I was a student in Comboni College in Khartoum in Sudan and he visited that area in 1958. I emigrated to Australia in 2006 and could not find a job due to my age of 64 years and the lack of university degree qualifications. I was working in temporary accounting positions in various companies, which did not give me any stability of income. I could not pray for myself, since I had lost hope and was very despondent. Then I prayed to Father Peyton to grant me the favor of a good job. In 2008 I was offered a permanent full-time position with the highest salary I have ever earned during my 36 years of employment. I believe it is a miracle, and I believe Father Peyton prayed for me to get this favor from Our Lord and the Blessed Virgin Mary. - Joseph