'Little Audrey' Considered for Sainthood?
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The association will raise money to do an investigation, talk with people around the world who claim healing through Audrey's intercession, and present its findings to the Vatican congregation.
BROOKLYN, NY (The Deacons Bench) - Many will remember the story of the mysterious Audrey Santo, known as "Little Audrey," who reportedly manifested remarkable healing powers during her short life. She was afflicted with a condition known as akinetic mutism, rendering her unable to speak or move. But thousands flocked to her home in Massachusetts and reported miraculous cures.
Could she be in line for sainthood?
Here's what the Boston Pilot has to say:
"The bishop of Worcester has given official recognition to an association seeking the canonization of a young Massachusetts woman, Audrey Santo, who before she died in 2007 spent most of her life unable to speak or move but inspired thousands who flocked to her bedside.
Unexplained phenomena that seemed to happen in her presence drew thousands of visitors over the years to her family's home, where she was cared for. Many felt she could heal others.
The association's recognition by Bishop Robert J. McManus will now enable it to present its findings to the Vatican.
Bishop McManus told The Catholic Free Press, Worcester's diocesan newspaper, that he had no comment about the possibility of "Little Audrey," as she is called, being named a saint. But he said he was pleased that those promoting her cause can go forward with the process.
Audrey gained worldwide attention after falling into her family's pool Aug. 9, 1987, at age 3 and ending up in a nonmoving, nonspeaking state, surrounded by consecrated hosts, statues and pictures said to ooze blood or oil.
Each year in August, hundreds of people from near and far flocked to her home and "ministry house" and her family's parish, Christ the King, to see her and seek miracles and her prayers. Well-known and lesser known media outlets publicized the story. Audrey died April 14, 2007, at age 23.
In a statement recognizing the "private association of the faithful" seeking to promote her cause, the bishop also noted the organization is "independent of the Diocese of Worcester and is promoting the cause for beatification of 'Little Audrey' within its own capacity."
Father John J. Foley, pastor of Christ the King Parish, is president of the association.
Bishop McManus and Msgr. F. Stephen Pedone, diocesan judicial vicar for canonical affairs, said such an association needs official recognition from the local bishop to make a formal petition, in its own name, to the Congregation for Saints' Causes.
The association will raise money to do an investigation, talk with people around the world who claim healing through Audrey's intercession, and present its findings to the Vatican congregation, Msgr. Pedone said.
If the congregation deems the evidence sufficient to pursue her cause for canonization, it will accept the petition, appoint a postulator and give Audrey the title "servant of God," he said."
A group has established a website which has more information about Audrey's life.
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