Pope Francis Approves 'Miraculous Healing' of Blind Boy Attribution to NJ Nun

Pope Francis has approved the attribution of a "miraculous healing" to the intercession of a New Jersey nun who died in 1927. The miracle was the restoration of a young boy's vision without any medical intervention.

According to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson, N.J., the miracle took place in 1963 when Sister of Charity Maria Augustine at St. Anashaisa School, Teaneck, led the school and parishioners in prayer for the 6-year-old boy through Sister Miriam Teresa Demjanovich's intercession. The boy had been diagnosed with bilateral macular degeneration, which cannot be healed completely. Following the prayer, he regained his sight without medical treatment, surgery or medications.

The approval by Pope Francis opens the way to Demjanovich's beatification. The next step is to determine a date for Demjanovich's beatification, which depends on the bishop of the diocese of Paterson, N.J., which first opened the cause.

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Demjanovich, who was born in New Jersey in 1901 and entered the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth Roman Catholic order in 1926, died in 1927 only one month after taking her religious vows. She suffered from health issues that resulted in her being initially turned away from joining the religious community, but finally joined the Sisters of Charity not long after her father's death.

"As a postulant and novice, she continued to teach, all the while living a deep spiritual life. In June 1926, her spiritual director asked her to write the conferences for the novitiate. She wrote 26 conferences which, after her death, were published in a book, titled Greater Perfection," the Vatican Radio stated.

She died in May 1927, after falling gravely ill six months earlier and being operated on for appendicitis.

On its website, the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth write that they opened a petition to Rome for permission to open Demjanovich's cause for beatification and canonization "because of her saintly life, her striving for perfection in her religious life, her spiritual writings, the mystical privileges accorded her by God during life and the favors received by others after her death through her intercession with God."

Earlier this week, Pope Francis also issued a decree declaring the Jesuit priest Blessed Peter Faber to be a saint.

"The decree is what the Vatican terms an 'equivalent canonization,' in which the pope inserts the name of the new saint in the universal calendar of saints without verifying a miracle performed through his intercession and without holding a formal canonization ceremony," Catholic News Service explained.

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