Archbishop Fulton Sheen, beloved American television catechist in the 1950s and 60s, has moved closer to becoming a saint. On July 12, Pope Francis approved a miracle attributed to the Archbishop, making his beatification possible. The Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints promulgated the decree approving Sheen’s miracle on July 6.
According to the Catholic News Agency, the miracle involves the unexplained recovery of James Fulton Engstrom, born apparently stillborn in September 2010 to Bonnie and Travis Engstrom of the Peoria- area town of Goodfield. He showed no signs of life as medical professionals tried to revive him.
The child’s mother and father prayed to Archbishop Sheen to heal their son. A seven-member panel of medical experts advising the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints gave unanimous approval of the miracle attributed to the famous television personality and evangelist in March 2014.
Sheen’s Emmy Award-winning television show, “Life is Worth Living,” reached an audience of millions.
He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois at age 24, and was appointed auxiliary bishop of New York in 1951, where he remained until his appointment as Bishop of Rochester, New York in 1966. He retired in 1969 and moved back to New York City until his death in 1979.
The Peoria diocese opened the cause for Sheen’s canonization in 2002. In 2012, Benedict XVI recognized the heroic virtues of the archbishop.
No date has been given for Sheen’s beatification. Another recognized miracle attributed to Sheen would lead to his canonization as a saint.
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