IN AN unprecedented gesture, the Pope has allowed an Anglican Benedictine abbot to participate in a meeting or the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
The Abbot of Nashdom, Buckinghamshire, Dom Wilfrid Weston, was invited to the meeting because of his abbey's long-standing connection with the cause of Sr Maria Gabriella Sagheddu, a Sardinian Trappist nun who was born in 1914 and , died at the age of 25 i'rum tuberculosis, in a convent near Rome.
The Prior of Nashdom, Dom \ Cyprian Martin, explained that the origins of Nashdom's interest in Sr Maria came about through an ecclesiastical French connection. A Fr Coutourier had befriended a former novice master at Nashdorn, Dom Benedict Ley, and told him of Sr Maria. who had pledged her life for the cause of-Christian unity at
the age of 20. Nashdorn and Sr Maria's Community had prayed for each other since that time.
Abbot Weston was among four participants in the meeting of the Congregation, said Fr Cyprian. The Abbot General of the Cistercians was also there. The Congregation's task was to examine the "heroism of virtue" of the nun. The next stage is the certification of at least one miracle,