Progress of the Cause for Beatification of Sister Miriam Teresa (1901-1927)
The Ordinary (diocesan) Processes of the Cause were completed in the 1970’s under the direction of Father Stephen Findlay, O.S.B., vice postulator of the Cause, and Sister Mary Zita Geis, SC, director of the League of Prayer. These testimonies were sent to Rome and translated into Italian.
Sister Mary Zita Geis, SC
The testimonies of the Apostolic Process were held from May 18, 1981 to December 18, 1981. A Summary of the testimonies was prepared under the direction of Father Ambrose Eszer, O.P., Relator General of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and sent to Rome with other related documents through the 1990’s. In 1999, the final portion of the Positio super virtutibus: the Biography of Sister Miriam Teresa and her Virtues, prepared by Sister Francis Maria Cassidy, SC and Sister Eileen Dolan, SC, was brought to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome and delivered to Father Eszer, O.P. Dr. Silvia Correale, postulator of the Cause, expanded the summary of the life and virtues.
On June 25, 2011, the theologians accepted the Positio super virtutibus. The Positio super virtutibus was then given to the Ordinaries (bishops and cardinals) for their approval.
On January 17, 2012, the Ordinaries accepted the Positio super virtutibus.
On May 10, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI decreed that Sister Miriam Teresa was of heroic virtue and now declared her Venerable.
There remained only the documentation of the presumed first class miracle: the restoration of perfect vision to a boy who was legally blind as a result of juvenile macular degeneration. The Newark Archdiocesan Tribunal investigated the alleged miracle. The documentation, the Positio super miro, was prepared by Sister Marian Jose Smith, vice postulator, and Dr. Mary Mazzarella, medical expert and consultant.
On July 8, 2004, at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, New Jersey, an historic ceremony took place, bringing closure to the investigative process for the beatification of Servant of God Sister Miriam Teresa. Newark Archbishop John J. Myers presided over the ceremony of signing and sealing the final documents which present the Cause to Vatican authorities.
A Mass followed, celebrated in Our Lady’s Chapel in the Cathedral Basilica, presided over by Newark Archbishop John J. Myers. Concelebrants were Monsignor Robert Fuhrman, Monsignor Frank Del Prete, and Father James Sheehan, members of the tribunal.
Archbishop John J. Myers signs documentation papers. (l to r) Maureen Shaughnessy, SC, General Superior; Dr. Mary Mazzarella, the medical expert; Fr. James Sheehan, a member of the tribunal; and Sister Marian Jose Smith, vice postulator for the Cause.
Two boxes, each of which contained a duplicate copy of the documents, were tied with yellow ribbon and sealed with wax. Sister Maureen Shaughnessy, SC, General Superior (2004-2011) of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, personally delivered the documents to the office of the Apostolic Nuncio in Washington, D.C. They were then taken to Rome in the diplomatic pouch of the Nuncio and delivered to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
The original documents were placed in the archives of the Archdiocese of Newark.
In Rome the documents were studied by the Medical Board. They ruled favorably on the cure, the case was submitted to a Consistory of Cardinals.
Their judgement was favorable, and the Cause was presented to His Holiness Pope Francis who on December 13, 2013, pronounced the Servant of God "Blessed".
The beatification ceremony took place on October 4, 2014 in the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, NJ. Angelo Cardinal Amato, prefect of the Congregation of the Causes of the Saints and representative of Pope Francis, presided. Other concelebrants included Theodore Cardinal McCarrick of Washington, DC, Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark, NJ, Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of Paterson, NJ, and Bishop Kurt R. Burnette of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic for the Ruthenians. In order for Blessed Miriam Teresa to be canonized, a second miracle due to her intercession is needed.
It remains for us to pray and to make every effort to spread the mission and message of Sister Miriam Teresa worldwide.
Sister Miriam Teresa League Headquarters | P.O. Box 476, Convent Station, NJ 07961-0476