Independence Day seems a great time to highlight Archbishop Fulton Sheen, who seems likely to be the next American saint. Just last week, the Vatican announced that Sheen has been named venerable because he lived a life of “heroic virtues.” You can read about the Vatican announcement here.
The exciting news for those of us here in the Peoria area is that the alleged miracle for Sheen’s cause is that of James Fulton Sheen, son of prolific (and personally delightful) blogger Bonnie Engstrom and her husband Travis. James was born in distress and without a heartbeat for 61 minutes, and family members and friends stormed heaven to ask for Archbishop’s Sheen intercession to heal him. I love this photo of part of their family, taken for the Chicago Tribune by a freelance photographer, that Bonnie shared on her blog the other day.
It’s such a great story, and if you are not familiar with it, please head on over to Bonnie’s blog to read all about it.
A strange, journalist aside from me: one of the oddest things I thought when I read (and reviewed last month) Alberto Salazar’s 14 Minutes (incidentally, a great, well-written memoir), was: how can I work in James’ 61 minutes into my interview with Salazar?
It didn’t seem polite to be all like, well, 14 minutes (how long Salazar was without a heartbeat after a massive heart attack in 2007) isn’t really that long, because James Fulton was without one for 61 minutes.
But I really wanted to do was somehow draw a parallel between James’ miraculous healing, and the miraculous running (pun intended) throughout Salazar’s great story of his faith and running life, and his several near-death experiences. And truly, isn’t life itself a wonderful miracle? But it didn’t make it into my final questions.
Anyhow, Bonnie writes here about James Fulton’s healing being the alleged miracle for his beatification here. The great Catholic Post article about the beatification here, which describes and links to the festivities around a Sunday, September 9 Mass to celebrate Sheen being named venerable.
Treasure in Clay, Sheen’s excellent autobiography, was the first book I ever reviewed for the Catholic Post Book Group. And while the blog is under the patronage of St. Francis de Sales, the patron saint of journalists, with the current news I believe I will adopt Sheen as our local patron here at the Catholic Post Book Group.
Bonnie has a great tab on her blog that describes and links to tons of articles about Sheen and the (alleged, it seems so strange to write that!) miracle, so you should visit that for more information if you are interested.