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.
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.
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
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.
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.