Day eyed for sainthood – N.Y. native was advocate for poor

The Vatican has given the go-ahead to begin the process that could lead to canonizing Dorothy Day, the 20th-century American pacifist and advocate for the poor, as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church, the New York Times reports.

Day, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., died 20 years ago at the age of 83.

A founder of the Catholic Worker movement, which helped the poor and homeless, she lived in voluntary poverty and was a self-described conservative in church matters and radical on issues such as civil rights for blacks and opposition to war, the Times says.

Cardinal John O’Connor, archbishop of New York, announced the Vatican’s decision in his column on the archdioceses’s Web site.

In a letter to the Vatican on Feb. 7, O’Connor requested the start of the lengthy process of investigating Day’s life and reviewing the findings at the local and level and in Rome.

Day converted to Catholicism in 1927 after the birth of her daughter. Previously, in her 20s, she wrote for a Socialist newspaper and lived a Bohemian life in New York. After her conversion, she rejected the idea of class struggle and emphasized the dignity of the individual, the Times says.

In 1933, with French philosopher Peter Maurin, she founded the Catholic Worker movement to aid the poor and homeless.

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