Old West nun to become first New Mexican saint
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/27/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
America may gain a new saint according to an announcement put out by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe on June 25.
The "Fastest Nun in the West," Sister Blandina Segale may become New Mexico's first nun.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Archbishop Michael Sheehan has received permission from the Vatican to open a "Sainthood Cause" for Sister Blandina Segale, an Italian-born nun who is famous for challenging notorious outlaw Billy the Kid, confronting angry mobs and opening hospitals and schools in the area that is now New Mexico.
Segale was an educator and social worker who performed her works in Ohio, Colorado and New Mexico.
Church officials say that this is the first time in the history of New Mexico that the Roman Catholic Church has decreed the cause of beatification and canonization.
"There are other holy people who have worked here," said Allen Sanchez, president and CEO for CHI St. Joseph's Children in Albuquerque-a social service agency founded by Segale. "But this would be a saint [who] started institutions in New Mexico that are still in operation."
Segale was a nun with the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. She came to Trinidad, Colorado in 1877 to teach poor children. Later, she was transferred to Santa Fe, where she co-founded public and Catholic schools.
While in New Mexico, she worked with the poor, the sick, and immigrants, and also became an advocate on behalf of Hispanics and Native Americans, and their rights within the territory.
She later became a figure of legend for her confrontations with outlaws, stopping a lynch mob from killing a man, though her encounter with Billy the Kid remains her most popular adventure.
According to one story, she was tipped off that the infamous outlaw was coming to town to scalp four doctors who had refused to treat his friend's gunshot wound. Segale actually treated the friend and nursed him back to health, and when Billy the Kid came to Trinidad to thank her, she asked him to abandon his violent plan, which he agreed to do.
It could take years, maybe even a century, before Segale is canonized. The Vatican must investigate her works, and monitor for any possible miracles attributed to her.
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