2013-12-18 Vatican Radio
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has approved the attribution a miraculous healing to the intercession of a young American nun, opening the way to her beatification. Born and raised in New Jersey, Miriam Teresa Demjanovich (1901-1927) entered the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth in 1926 and died one year later, taking her religious vows one month before her death.
The miracle that opens the way for the beatification of Miriam Teresa Demjanovich involves the restoration of perfect vision to a boy who had gone legally blind because of macular degeneration.
Silvia Correale, the postulator for Sr Teresa’s cause in Rome, said : “All ophthalmologists know that this condition cannot be totally healed. It can be stopped from advancing, but it cannot be fully cured.” The decision as to the miraculous nature of this healing was unanimous by all committees, she added.
Msgr Giampaolo Rizzotti of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints added that the miracle took place in 1964. The date of the beatification, he said, now depends upon the bishop of the diocese of Paterson, New Jersey, which first opened the cause, to contact the Vatican and establish a date.
Born in 1901, Sr Teresa was baptized and confirmed in the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic rite of the Church and raised in an Eastern Catholic household. She was the youngest of seven children, whose parents immigrated from Eastern Slovakia.
Sr Teresa’s vocation story demonstrates her perseverance in faith. Wanting to enter religious life upon her high school graduation, she postponed her entry to care for her ailing mother. After her mother’s death and upon her family’s urging, she began her studies in literature at the at Convent Station, New Jersey, where she met the congregation she would later join.
But first, in 1924, she decided to test her initial desire to join the Carmelites. She visited the community but was turned away due to health issues. She finally discerned a vocation to the Sisters of Charity and entered on 11 February 1925, soon 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.
Six months later, in January 1927, she fell gravely ill and was admitted to the hospital. She made religious profession in articulo mortis (in danger of death) on 2 April 1927. On 6 May, she was operated for appendicitis and died two days later.
Correale says Sr Teresa is considered to be a mystic. She developed a profound Trinitarian spirituality and shared with others the importance of entering into deep communion with the Trinitarian God.
Listen to the report by Laura Ieraci: