Wonderful news on Fulton Sheen

Tickled indeed was I to read the news today that a miracle by the intercession of the Venerable Fulton Sheen has been approved unanimously by the medical commission that advises the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. It pertains to the miraculous recovery 61 minutes after birth of a stillborn baby in 2010.

The matter will next be put before Pope Francis who, if he approves the miracle, will decree Fulton Sheen’s beatification. It could even be decreed this year.

Sheen’s beatification will no doubt worry some. He does not obviously fit the humble stereotype so much praised these days. His consistent wearing of proper episcopal attire in public, yea on television!, will most likely be seen by some as triumphalism or clericalism, &c. His skill in raising impressive amounts of money for the Pontifical Mission Society, as well as his media ministry (which earned him an Emmy award), will be used as evidence of his vanity love of attention.

Let’s be honest. He did love the spotlight, and he loved being a priest and a bishop. And why not? He was born for this vocation, so why should he not love it? He did it so well. He attracted millions to watch him on TV when Catholicism was still not quite kosher for the general run of American society. He presented the truths of the Faith in an unerringly logical and accessible way, dealt with topical and controversial subjects, displaying humanity and fidelity to truth. He made converts. He was a televangelist before the name was tarnished by the flood of charlatans who would follow in his wake. Even today, though his flowery style might take some getting used to for some, he can captivate and inspire. He was a bishop who was also an apostle. And his humility was apparent to those who cared to look. His one hour before the Blessed Sacrament every day, without fail… the veiled confessions of his own weakness in the examples he used. Humility is a realistic knowledge of self, and I suspect he had a good dose of that.

So why not watch him talk about temptation, so apt for Lent. Watch it to the end.

Blessed Fulton Sheen – sounds good!

10 thoughts on “Wonderful news on Fulton Sheen

  1. The miracle attributed to the intercessionof Bishop Fulton Sheen was much more dramatic than what the sources you cited reveal. The baby boy’s umbilical cord had gotten tied into a knot, which was no problem while the infant was still in utero, but which became a real problem during the natural birth process (compressed cord stopped oxygen to the brain), and the child was stillborn on the family’s kitchen floor. There was reportedly a midwife in attendance who called 911 and the paramedical arrived within minutes. They tried to rescitate the baby, who had no pulse, never took a breath; the mother said she kept saying, “Bishop Sheen, Bishop Sheen” whilst the EMT’s kept trying. Mother & child were transported to the local hospital where the situation continued–no heartbeat whatsoever, no brain waves, child never took a breath. Mother kept praying. The EMT’s had tried to inject epinephrine into the child’s leg in order to “shock” the heart into starting it, but missed the vein and shot it into the leg bone instead.
    After 61 minutes, the medical staff was giving up and had pulled out the paperwork to declare it a stillbirth, when the child suddenly gasped for air and started breathing!
    The baby did so poorly for some weeks that the medical staff told the parents to simply let him go–his leg had been badly chemically burned by the missed injection, making amputation a real possibility; he would never be conscious, never be able to sit up, eat or speak normally, etc. Fortunately, the mother asked all of the local churches to pray for the recovery of the baby, and cards were printed up & distributed to not only the Catholic community, but to all local churches (protestant, evangelical, nondenominational, Orthodox Christian, etc.).
    As you can understand, the entire local believing community really “came to bat” for this little boy, and kept lifting him up to the good Lord. These prayers, in my humble opinion, cannot but be most pleasing to Jesus. Baby kept improving over the next few months, and was allowed to go home. He was still developmentally delayed, but by his first birthday he was completely up to normal development in all areas but some slight speech delay, and was expected to be 100% caught up before long.
    There are some very beautiful photos of the little boy on American Internet sites which reported the miracle; he is shown running around with his brother and sister, and there is now a fourth child born into this family. May Jesus be praised for extending his mercy to this little one!


    1. Thank you for the extra detail, Catherine. It was wonderful to read. Actually that baby had the same problem as an older brother of mine, John, who did not make it and died a few hours after birth (years before I was born). The things that can go wrong with us…



  2. He also visited London frequently and, when there, was happy to sit in the box at St Patrick’s, Soho, for hours, ready to hear confessions. We need more priests and bishops like that.


  3. Many saints who were bishops (Charles Borromeo, cardinal; Francis de Sales to name but two) insisted on the use of the appropriate regalia to mark and dignify their office. I can never understand why Pope Francis, who entered the conclave that elected him in the choir dress of a cardinal, felt so exercised about leaving it in the choir dress of the Bishop of Rome.


    1. Indeed the office and the man are distinct in many respects. Dignity due to office need not be vainglory, though the risk is greater of course. That’s the sort of delicate balance that can make a saint.



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