Catholic Church seeks out miracles by Nyeri’s Blessed Nyaatha to hasten her canonisation

Blessed Nyaatha

A new canvas unveiled after Sister Irene Stefani "Nyaatha" was declared "blessed" in a beatification ceremony at Dedan Kimathi University in Nyeri County on May 23, 2015.

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi I Nation Media Group

The Roman Catholic Church is inviting its faithful to present miracles they have received through the intercessory prayers of Blessed Irene Stefani Nyaatha so that she can be declared a saint by the Pope.

The Church has started the process of collecting and documenting the miracles (favours and intentions) so as to fast-track her canonisation.

Speaking to the ‘Nation’ yesterday, Fr Peter Githinji — who is the postulator in charge of causes of saints, beatification and canonisation at the Archdiocese of Nyeri — said Blessed Nyaatha is one step away from sainthood.

“We are urging our faithful to continue praying and presenting to us the favours and intentions received through Blessed Nyaatha. A miracle is the one that will lead to the final stage, and it will be the greatest news for the world because the Pope himself is the one who will declare Blessed Nyaatha a saint,” Fr Githinji said.

Fr Peter Githinji

Fr Peter Githinji during the interview at Our Lady of Consolata Catholic Cathedral in Nyeri on October 26. 

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

“We have officially started collecting the miracles by setting up an information desk so that the faithful can present the information in person. We are asking for her intercession so that a miracle will happen soon, and she gets canonised as a Saint of the Holy Catholic Church,” he added.

This comes as faithful, drawn from many parts of the world, convene at Our Lady of Consolata Cathedral in Nyeri town on Saturday to commemorate nine years since the beatification of Sr Irene.

Her beatification took place on May 23, 2015, and was presided over by Polycarp Cardinal Pengo from Tanzania who was sent by the Pope.

Led by Archbishop Emeritus Peter Kairo, the faithful will hold a procession in Nyeri town with Blessed Nyaatha’s relics (remains of human anatomy), proceed to the church’s sacristy (the room where the priest prepares for the celebration of Mass) and then head to the altar for the commencement of the mass.

Milka Wambura

Milka Wambura, 102 during an interview at her home at Gathiriti village Nyeri County on July 6, 2023 on how she knew the Italian nun Irene Stefani (left).

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi I Nation Media Group

During last year’s celebrations, Nyeri Archbishop Anthony Muheria handed over the relics to Mukurwe-ini and Othaya deaneries. This Saturday, Archbishop Emeritus Kairo will hand over the relics to the deaneries from Naromoru and Nanyuki.

“The essence of taking the relics to various deaneries is to enlighten and encourage more people to continue praying while invoking her name,” Fr Githinji said.

Blessed Nyaatha was from the Consolata Sisters and started her missionary work in 1915 at Gikondi village in Mukurwe-ini, Nyeri County. This is where she earned the name Nyaatha, which means “merciful” in Kikuyu.

Blessed Nyaatha died in 1930 at the age of 39 after contracting an illness from one of the patients she was treating.