Important and timely news out of Louisiana, via Crux: 

Five Louisiana priests that sacrificed their lives to care for the sick through the 1873 yellow fever epidemic in Shreveport are officially on the path to sainthood.

Bishop Francis Malone of Shreveport announced the news on Tuesday that he got permission from the Vatican to name Fathers Jean Pierre, Isidore A. Quémerais, Jean-Marie Biler,  Louis Gergaud and François Le Vézouët as Servants of God – the first step towards canonization.

“I am still within my first year here as the bishop of the 16 northernmost parishes of Louisiana, but I learned quickly of the extraordinary zeal of these earliest of missionary priests to our area, which culminated in the free offer of their lives in the yellow fever epidemic of 1873. The stories of their lives, up to their deaths in the epidemic, are truly extraordinary,” Malone said at a press conference at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans in Shreveport.

“It is my joy, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception and from this historic church, to announce that we may refer to them as Servants of God.”

As history tells it, between late August to mid-November of 1873 Shreveport lost a quarter of its population to yellow fever. The mosquito-borne disease causes fever, nausea, and muscle pains and can lead to liver and kidney failure.

There’s more. Read on. 

For more, you can visit a website that has been set up about the priests.

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