Beatified New Jersey Sister of 20th Century Remembered by Pope

After Angelus, Francis Also Asks Faithful to Pray for Synod

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Pope Francis has held up to the world a beloved New Jersey nun beatified yesterday in the state.

The beatification was the first to take place in the United States.

“Yesterday,” Pope Francis reflected in his remarks following today’s midday Angelus in St. Peter’s Square, “Sister Miriam Teresa Demjanovich, of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, was proclaimed Blessed in the United States. 

“We thank God for this faithful disciple of Christ, who led an intense spiritual life,” he said about the late sister, who is now one of seven beatified Americans.

Over the years, Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict have helped pave the way for her beatification. Yesterday, she was beatified at a special Mass in Newark’s Sacred Heart Basilica.

Born in 1901, Sister Miriam Teresa Demjanovich was a nun for only two years at a convent in New Jersey before she died in 1927 at the age of 26 of acute appendicitis.  

Within two years of graduating the College of Saint Elizabeth summa cum laude in English, she joined the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth also located in Convent Station, N.J.

To be a saint, the blessed is remembered for having produced many influential, devotional writings among Catholics. To be canonized, she would need to be credited with a second miracle.

Her first miracle, according to the Sisters of Charity, was the case of a young boy who was declared legally blind due to bilalteral macular degeneration.  Through the sister’s intercession, his sight was restored. 

On December 17, 2013, a panel of cardinals and bishops agreed that the cause of the blind child has been accomplished through the late nun’s intercession. That same day, Pope Francis declared this an authentic miracle.

The Pope also observed that in Italy today is the Day of the Pulling Down of Architectural Barriers.

“I encourage all those who do their utmost to guarantee equal opportunities of life for all, regardless of the physical condition of each individual,” he said, adding, “I hope that institutions and individual citizens will be ever more attentive to this important social objective.”

After calling again on the faithful present to pray for the Synod of Bishops, which opened with a Mass at the Vatican this morning, Pope Francis greeted the many pilgrims present, including those who came by bicycle from Milan in memory of Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, whom he described as a “saintly mother of a family, witness of the Gospel of life.”


On Zenit’s Web page:

Full Translation:

On the NET:

On Sister Miriam:

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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