Newark (Monday, 10/06/2014, Gaudium Press) More than 2,000 people attended the beatification of Sr. Miriam Teresa Demjanovich, a religious nun of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, NJ. This was the first beatification ceremony ever held in the United States.
|Unveiling of painting of Blessed
Miriam Teresa Demjanovich
In his welcoming remarks Archbishop John Myers, of Newark, noted that exactly 19 years ago St. John Paul II visited that same cathedral and prayed in the chapel next to the sanctuary that now houses his relic.
The magnificent Cathedral of the Sacred Heart is the fifth largest cathedral in North America, built in French gothic style, from 1898 to 1954, and elevated to the rank of basilica by St John Paul II, during his visit to America in 1995.
As expected, Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and main celebrant of the Mass, read the Apostolic Letter of Pope Francis on the beatification.
The decree stated that Sister Miriam “whose ardent adoration of the most Holy Trinity and whose strenuous witness is evidence of her evangelical love, should henceforth be called ‘Blessed’ forever,” and her feast may be celebrated on May 8, “the day of her heavenly birth.”
In his homily, Bishop Arthur Serratelli of the Paterson Diocese, pointing out that Blessed Miriam Teresa lived only 26 years and her life with the Sisters of Charity of Convent Station lasted only 28 months, after she entered on the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes in 1925.
“But God does not need much time to draw us to himself, only our will to please him in all things,” the bishop observed, quoting Sister Miriam: “The saints did but one thing – the will of God. But they did it with all their might.” Addressing to topic of the universal call to holiness the bishop again quoted Sister Miriam Teresa: “Union with God … is the spiritual height God calls everyone to achieve – anyone, not only religious, but anyone … who says ‘Yes’ constantly to God.”
Michael Mercer, who at the ceremony carried the relic of Sister Miriam Teresa, as a child, in the early 60’s, was miraculously cured of a macular juvenile degeneration (the macula, which is an area of the retina, degenerates with age). Michael was 8 years old when the doctor told him that in six months he would be blind.
Mercer recalled how “the Sisters of Charity and everybody on the block” were praying for the intercession of Sister Miriam Teresa for the restoration of his eyesight. He was given a relic, what he calls “a memento,” of her.
The day after the doctor’s final word, he had the rare occasion of walking home alone from school. He could navigate by following the edge of the sidewalk meeting the grass. For some unexplained reason, he said that he “looked up to see, for about 10 or 11 seconds, what looked like the sun,” then he looked back down. Once home with his mother, he was looking straight at her without turning his head to the side in order to be able to glimpse her from the side of his vision. It was something he was unable to do for two years.
Asked if his life was different spiritually because of his miracle, Mercer quickly and simply said, “When you get a blessing, you have to (be different spiritually). You have no other choice. I told God, ‘Thy will be done.’ I’ve always tried to say that.”
He simply asks God to bless “whoever I see.”
About his personal relation with Blessed Miriam he says “she’s a friend; I talk to her like a friend,” and he suggests that everyone do the same.(ANH)
Information from: National Catholic Register