Mother Theresia Bonzel Moving Towards Sainthood After Church Declares Miracle

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A German nun who lived 100 years ago is scheduled for beatification in November, a step in the process toward sainthood, because the Vatican thinks that she was responsible for a miracle experienced by a Colorado Springs boy in 1999.

Two nuns prayed to Mother Theresia Bonzel on behalf of 4-year-old Luke Burgie after the boy began suffering from a severe gastrointestinal condition that doctors were unable to treat or diagnose. The boy was wasting away and had stopped growing when his illness suddenly vanished just after two members of Bonzel's order finished praying for him.

Sister Margaret Mary Preister and the late Sister Evangeline Spenner recited a series of prayers over nine straight days asking Mother Bonzel to come to Luke’s aid out and heal him. His mother, Jan Burgie, was grateful for the prayers even though her family was not overly religious. "We were just an ordinary family — not ultra-holy," Burgie said.

After the amazing recovery, the Vatican began investigating the alleged miracle in order to determine whether it met the extremely stringent criteria. Bill Briggs wrote a book, "The Third Miracle," about how the church looks into these sorts of matters, reported The Denver Post.

"I think what would surprise people outside the church is how very dubious investigators are," Briggs said. "To examine these claims, they look at hundreds, if not thousands, of medical records and other pieces of evidence. It's the furthest thing from a rubber stamp."

According to Briggs the church has a team of independent medical experts look over each case in order to determine that the “miracle” cure is rapid, complete and unexplainable.

Franciscan Sister M. Angela Mellady was pleased that the church decided that Mother Bonzel’s case was a miracle. She was also appreciative that it was the first miracle recognized by Pope Francis.

“The sisters have prayed for this special gift for 52 years,” she said. “As we approached 2013, our jubilee celebration of 150 years as a congregation, we thought, ‘What a special joy it would be to have Mother Maria Theresia beatified during this jubilee year which has also been declared the Year of Faith by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. And for this we are most grateful.”

Sources: The Denver Post, The Catholic Free Press