Vatican may approve first Catholic saint from Estonia

Eduard Profittlich
Eduard Profittlich Source: ERR

Estonian catholics may be able to get their first saint than earlier previously thought. The beatification of Archbishop Eduard Profittlich could take place in Tallinn in two years.

A validity decree was sent to the Estonian catholics from the Vatican, approving the investigation of the martyrdom of Eduard Profittlich. "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported all the documents concerning the life and activities of Eduard Profittlich have been thoroughly checked. They were checked at the Vatican in the spring of 2019.

No further documents need be submitted to the Congregation for the Saints of the Holy See. The process of beatification in the Catholic Church, however, is very long as it takes many years and consists of several stages.  

Marge Marie Paas, spokesperson for the Catholic Church in Estonia, said Rome was conducting serious background research into the case. She added: "The Vatican is still examining every detail very carefully. They need to check the background of his death, as to whether this was a martyr's death or there were some other factors. The study process is much longer. We hope that in a few years ... will be submitted to the Pope of Rome for approval."

Eduard Gottlieb Profittlich was a Society of Jesus (Jesuit) German Catholic archbishop, apostolic administrator of Estonia, and a victim of Soviet persecution. In December 1930, he was a parish priest at St Peter and St Paul's Cathedral in Tallinn, appointed by the then apostolic administrator of Estonia, Archbishop Antonio Zecchini.

On May 11, 1931, Profittlich himself was appointed as the Apostolic Administrator of Estonia.

He began publishing the country's first church weekly magazine, "Kiriku Elu" (The Life of the Church).

Profittlich was a recognized preacher and bishop. He began to address the issue of Estonian-language literature on the subject of religion. In 1935, he requested, and received, Estonian citizenship.

After the signing of a treaty between the Vatican and Estonia in 1935, under which the legal status of the apostolic administration in Estonia was confirmed, on November 27, 1936, he was named titular archbishop of Adrianople, and on December 27, 1936, consecrated archbishop at the parish church of St Peter and St Paul's Cathedral in Tallinn, while remaining an apostolic administrator, makign him the first Catholic bishop in predominantly Lutheran Estonia after Protestant Reformation and the passage of Estonian territories to Sweden in the 17th century.

On February 22, 1942, he died in Kirov prison, a city in Kirov Oblast in Soviet Russia.


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Editor: Katriin Eikin Sein

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