Tucson resident Timothy R. Heinan was invested as Grand Cross in the Order of St. Michael and the Wing, at the historic Alcobaca Abbey in Portugal on September 27. The Order of St. Michael and the Wing is one of the oldest Catholic of knighthoods in Europe; its statutes having been promulgated by Pope Alexander III in 1171. Heinan serves as Executive Director of the Blessed Nuno Society, a Catholic Mission Society headquartered in the Diocese of Duluth, Minnesota which has a mission office in Tucson. The award, in recognition of exemplary service to the poor, honors Heinan’s twenty-four year leadership in caring for homeless and orphaned children worldwide, including the recent construction of a new orphanage, Casa Reina de los Angeles, in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico.
The Blessed Nuno Society is named for the Portuguese patron of orphaned children, St. Nuno Alvares Pereira who was canonized as a saint by Pope Benedict XVI last year. Dom Duarte Pio, head of the Royal House of Portugal and Bishop Manuel Antonio dos Santos of Sao Tome and Principe presided over the investiture ceremony in Portugal. Dom Duarte is a direct descendant of St. Nuno. Among those present at the ceremony were the Earl of Khartoum, Lord Henry Herbert, representing Queen Elizabeth of Britain, King Kigeli V of the Royal House of Rwanda, and Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie Hailie Selassie of Ethiopia. Douglas (AZ) Dispatch
Update: Blessed Nuno was canonized by Pope Benedict April 26, 2009. Saint Nino died in 1431! Sometimes these things do take time.
Guilhermina de Jesus, a Portuguese woman who was instantaneously cured from blindness after praying novenas to Blessed Nuno with her parish priest and then kissing a statue of St. Nuno, and touching it to her eye in December 2000. The statue had been presented to her by the Blessed Nuno Society in 1998. In July 2008, Pope Benedict XVI accepted this miracle for the canonization of St. Nuno.
The Blessed Nuno Society apparently has not gotten around to changing its name.