UPDATE (8/10/15): For some reason, this article gained renewed steam today through social media. One or two shares quickly turned into thousands. It was originally posted in March 2014. Although Sheen’s miracle was approved, since then his beatification has sadly been suspended due to a disagreement over his body. There appears to be no imminent resolution.
Big news out of Peoria, IL this morning as Bishop Daniel Jenky just received word that the seven-member board of medical experts who advise the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints at the Vatican unanimously approved a reported miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Archbishop Fulton Sheen.
This paves the way for Sheen’s beatification, which would make him “Blessed Fulton Sheen” and leave him just one step away from official sainthood.
The miracle in question took place in September 2010 and involved a newborn boy named James Fulton Engstrom (son of Bonnie Engstrom, friend and fellow Catholic blogger.) James emerged showing no signs of life. Medical professionals scrambled to attempt every possible life saving procedure. Bonnie, her husband, and loved ones began immediately seeking the intercession of Fulton Sheen in prayer. Then, after 61 minutes with no pulse, James was miraculously restored to life and made a full recovery. He’s now three years old and continues in good health.
Receiving approval for a miracle is typically the biggest hurdle in the beatification process. From here, the case will be reviewed by a board of theologians. With their approval the case will move on to a select number of cardinals and bishops, and then finally to Pope Francis who will, hopefully, affirm that God performed a miracle through the intercession of Fulton Sheen. There is no timeline as to when these next steps will take place but my guess is that they will happen within the year.
For more information about Fulton Sheen and the Cause for his canonization, visit ArchbishopSheenCause.org.
PS. For an inside look at the miracle vetting process, check out this article we posted yesterday at Strange Notions titled “Can an Atheist Scientist Believe in Miracles?” It’s written by Dr. Jacalyn Duffin, a respected atheist hematologist who was asked by the Vatican to verify a miracle attributed to the intercession of St. Marie-Marguerite d’Youville.