Preliminary approval of miracle
A team of Vatican-appointed medical experts has verified the authenticity of a miracle attributed to the intercession of Archbishop Fulton Sheen, moving the renowned preacher closer to beatification.
Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria, Illinois, announced on March 6 that the panel of experts had found no medical explanation for the case of a child who was restored to life after being stillborn. Medical personnel had tried for an hour to revive the child, without success, while the parents prayed for the intercession of Archbishop Sheen. The child, born in September 2010, is now a healthy 3-year-old.
“Today is a significant step in the cause for the beatification and canonization of our beloved Fulton Sheen, a priest of Peoria and a son of the heartland who went on to change the world,” said Bishop Jenky, who had formally opened the cause for beatification of Archbishop Sheen in 2002.
The reported miracle will now be examined by a team of theologians, and if they approve it, submitted to the entire Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The final approval of the miracle would fulfill the last requirement for the beatification of Cardinal Sheen, who was proclaimed “Venerable” by Pope Benedict XVI in June 2012.
Born in Illinois in 1895, Fulton Sheen was ordained to the priesthood in the Peoria diocese in 1919. He taught philosophy and theology at the Catholic University of America, before becoming an auxiliary bishop of New York in 1951. His fame soared as a result of work in broadcasting; in the 1950s his weekly show, “Life Is Worth Living,” was the most popular program on American television. Bishop Sheen was appointed Bishop of Rochester, New York, in 1966, and raised to the title of archbishop on his retirement in 1969. He died in New York in 1979.