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Believe it or not, this isn't our first brush with a horrific and deadly disease.  Back in 1873, the third worst Yellow Fever epidemic in history was gripping the Shreveport area.  Between late August and early November of that year, the city lost roughly one third of its population to the disease.

Among the dead were 5 Roman Catholic priests that perished from the disease while trying to help people who were also dying from the disease.  Those 5 priests (Isidore Quemerais, Jean Pierre, Jean Marie LeBiler, Louis Gergaud and Francois Le Vezouet) are now being considered for Catholic Sainthood by the Vatican.

According to the official Vatican protocols for canonization (the process through which one becomes a saint) were modified in 2017 by the current Pope (Francis).  They are:

  1. The individual must freely and voluntarily offer their life in the face of "a certain and soon-to-come death"
  2. There must be a "close relation" between "the offering of one's life and the premature death of the one who offers it."
  3. The person must show Christian virtues, at least to an ordinary extent, before and after offering their life.
  4. They must have a "reputation for holiness" at least after their death.
  5. They must have performed a miracle. This is a major difference from the "martyrdom" category, which does not require a miracle.

According to the Ark-La-Tex Homepage, the Vatican has not set a timeline for this process.

 

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