The Cause of Abbot Francis

Welcome to the website of the servant of God Abbot Francis (Wendelin) Pfanner. This website aims at promoting further the devotion to this great man of faith and missionary for Southern Africa. It also aims at informing all those interested in his cause of beatification and canonization and at sustaining their interest and devotion.


Candidate: Franz (Wendelin) Pfanner, Professed priest, Trappist

Birth: 21 September 1825 in Langen bei Bregenz, Vorarlberg (Austria)

Death: 24 May at Emaus Mission, Sisonke, KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa)

Founder of

– The Mariannhill Monastery

– The Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood

Petitioners: Missionari di Mariannhill, Via S. Giovanni Eudes, 91, 00163 Roma, ITALY


Suore Missionarie del Preziosissimo Sangue, Via S. Giovanni Eudes, 93, 00163 Roma, ITALY

Postulator:Rev. Yves La Fontaine, cmm

Competent bishop:

R. Rev. Bishop Stanislaw Dziuba, OSPPE, Umzimkulu Diocese

Technical data:

CCS protocol number: 2593

Type of cause: Confessor (heroic virtues)

Nihil obstat: 8 April 2013

Opening of diocesan inquiry: 01 October 2009

Steps already made

● In 1963, the then Superior General of the Missionaries of Mariannhill (CMM), called a meeting in order to get the process started.

● Subsequently a postulator was appointed, as well as two vice-postulators, one for Europe and one for South Africa. In this way the work of collecting all the writings of and about Abbot Francis could start. However, during this time of collecting the material, no official opening of the process could took place.

● In October 2013 Fr. Georges Lautenschlager, CMM, was appointed by the general government of the Missionaries of Mariannhill, after consultation of the Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood (CPS), to make the preparations for the opening of the official process.

● In March 2004, he was appointed postulator by CMM and CPS. He called a meeting in order to find help in this preparation work. After a bit more than a year the whole documentation was ready.

● Then a tribunal was instituted. It is composed of the chairperson, Rt Rev. Bishop Stanislaw Dziuba OSPPE, an episcopal delegate, Mgr Paul Nadal, a promoter of justice, Fr. Christopher Richmond OMI, a notary, Fr Michael Nadaraju, and an assistant-notary, Fr Cyril Malinga.

● Two theologians, the censors, were appointed and asked to scrutinize all the public writings of Abbot Francis to ascertain that there was nothing in them contrary to faith and good morals.

● Following this, a commission of experts in history and archives, made of 12 members, was appointed. Its task was to gather and study all the writings of Abbot Francis Pfanner, those not yet published as well as each and every historical documents, either handwritten or printed, which in any way pertained to the cause.

For more recent developments see Progress Report

Fr. Yves La Fontaine, CMM