.- New Jersey Catholics are hoping they will have their own homegrown saint soon. The cause for sainthood for a New Jersey nun, who was a Sister of Charity in the 1920s, moved one step closer toward sainthood last month, reported The Jersey Journal.
Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark signed documents last month, promoting the beatification of Sr. Miriam Teresa Demjanovich, SC, who grew up in Bayonne, New Jersey.
The documents have been forwarded to the Congregation for Causes of Saints in the Vatican. If she is beatified, she will be the first person from New Jersey to receive that recognition from the universal Church.
Teresa Demjanovich was born March 26, 1901, the seventh child of a Slovakian family. The family attended the nearby St. John's Byzantine Church, where they followed the Eastern Orthodox rites but stayed loyal to the pope in Rome.
In 1925, after teaching for two years, Teresa decided to join the Sisters of Charity. During her novitiate, under the direction of Fr. Benedict Bradley, she composed a series of essays and meditations, which were later published, under the title "Greater Perfection." Sr. Miriam died soon after, in 1927, at age 26 from appendicitis.
In 1946, the Sr. Miriam Teresa League of Prayer, which has about 3,000 members around the world, organized to pray for her canonization.
In 1955, the Vatican recognized Sr. Miriam as a Servant of God. Only years later, in the 1960s, a boy, who was legally blind and suffering from macular degeneration, gained normal eyesight as a result of praying to Sr. Miriam.
This became the first documented miracle in Sr. Miriam’s cause for sainthood. The boy, who is now 50, gave testimony under oath at the Sisters of Charity General House about what happened to him as a boy.
Now that the documentation has been submitted to the Vatican, the sisters and the local Catholic Church are simply waiting to hear. Given that there are more than 200 candidates for beatification being reviewed at this time, there is no indication that the results for Sr. Miriam’s cause will be available soon.
"Everyone talks about Mother Teresa and how quickly she became sanctified,” Sr. Marian Jose Smith, SC, told The Jersey Journal, “but she had a worldwide reputation. So given that our Sr. Miriam was an obscure novice, it's remarkable that in less than 100 years, she's gotten this far."