First beatification to take place in the United States

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Newark (Sunday, 10-05-2014, Gaudium Press) Sister Miriam Teresa Demjanovich, of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, is the first American born Catholic to be beatified in the United States. Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided the ceremony at the Archdiocese of Newark on October 4. Pope Francis highlighted the testimony of Blessed Miriam after praying the Angelus on Sunday 05 in Saint Peter’s Square.”Yesterday, in the United States of America, Sister Miriam Teresa Demjanovich, of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, has been beatified” said the Pontiff. “Thanks be to God for this faithful disciple of Christ who led an intense spiritual life.”

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The painting of Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich is unveiled for public
veneration during the ceremony of beatification. Photo Jeffrey Bruno

Her beatification took place after the certification of the miraculous healing of a blind young boy in Newark, United States, who was declared legally blind due to a bilateral macular degeneration, and who recovered his sight in 1964 after praying through the intercession of the Blessed Miriam Teresa.

The new Blessed was born in 1901 in Bayonne, New Jersey, and lived only 26 years due to her poor health. She was the youngest child of a family of Slovak immigrants and studied at the College of St. Elizabeth, where she felt her calling to the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, founded in 1809 by Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. Upon admission to the order, she only lived two more years, and was noted for her pursuit of perfection and a mystical relationship with God. After her death her book “Greater Perfection” was published.

The cause of beatification of Sister Miriam Teresa Demjanovich started in the Diocese of Paterson in 2012. The recognition of her heroic virtues was made by Pope Benedict XVI and the authenticity of the miracle that allowed her beatification was ratified by Pope Francis on December 17, 2013.

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