Sister Aguchita will be beatified a saint

Sister Aguchita will be beatified!

On May 22, 2021, Pope Francis authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate the decree on the martyrdom of Antonia Luzmila Rivas Lopez (Aguchita) in hatred of the faith.

A member of the Peruvian Communist Party Shining Path in La Florida, Peru, murdered Sister Aguchita on September 27, 1990. She was 70 years old. The execution took place in a matter of seconds and left six people dead on the ground. Aguchita was the last one to die.

Beatification is an administrative act of the Catholic Church. It is a recognition of a deceased person’s entrance into Heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his or her name.

The nominee can be a martyr killed in the service of Christ or a confessor. They are honored and revered for their actions while living. The Church beatifies only those whose lives have been marked by the exercise of heroic virtue.

Sister Aguchita will be beatified for bearing witness to the faithful following of Jesus the Good Shepherd throughout her life. Living the charism of love, mercy, acceptance, and reconciliation, she gave her life to God while teaching some little girls and imploring mercy for her people.

Process of Sister Aguchita being beatified

The formal process for beatification has changed in the last several hundred years. Originally, the church required 50 years between the time of the nominee’s death and the beginning of the investigation. This has been decreased to five years.

After a long inquiry, the pope authorizes the beatification, the newly beatified person is labeled “blessed,” and people of the area identified with the beatified are allowed to perform limited actions in the blessed’s name.

The process determining whether Sister Aguchita will be beatified began in 2017.  From the beginning of the process, the Conference of Bishops of Peru has fully supported the Cause of Aguchita, particularly because she was a woman religious and native Peruvian.

From the first request sent by the Province Leadership Team of Peru for the Cause, Congregation Province Leader Sr. Ellen Kelly supported the process for its advancement. The final part of the process for Aguchita’s beatification is waiting for Pope Francis to approve the proposed date and place for the beatification ceremony, as well as the designation of his official representative.

Read a related story about Sister Aguchita.

Jeanette McDermott

Jeanette McDermott

Jeanette is the Communications Coordinator for Sisters of the Good Shepherd Province of Mid-North America. She is a career photojournalist who has served in various capacities of print, broadcast, and corporate communications. Jeanette is devoted to creation and is particularly focused on saving pollinators and other wildlife species and their habitat. She is an ethical vegan and created the website veganstoryteller.com