Beloved TV Personality and Former Archbishop Fulton Sheen on Road to Sainthood
Pope Francis has approved a miracle attributed to Archbishop Fulton J Sheen, according to CNA. The approval of the miracle paves the way for Sheen’s beatification, a step on the road to sainthood.
Who Was Fulton Sheen?
Archbishop Fulton J Sheen, originally from Peoria Illinois, served as a parish priest, an auxiliary bishop, and later the Bishop of Rochester New York.
Sheen served in this post for three years before retiring. Sheen passed away in 1979 and the cause for his canonization was launched in 2002.
Life and Ministry
Sheen was loved by those who knew him personally and in his ministry. However, he found an audience on his program Life Is Worth Living. The program was only recorded for five years between 1952 and 1957. However, it remains in syndication, is available to own on DVD, and is streaming on YouTube.
In the popular program, Sheen discussed how the Catholic faith impacts us in all of our various walks of life. He often discussed our roles as Catholics in America and how faith can help us in our family lives.
Sheen was passionate and charismatic. He also put up his own outline notes on a chalkboard as he spoke making his talks easy to follow along. He regularly started a program by marking “JMJ” - which he said stood for “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph” - on the top of his chalkboard.
The Process of Canonization
To be loved and remembered is good. However, being a saint is much more complicated. The official guidelines on how an individual could be officially recognized as a saint were set down in the thirteenth century.
The first step to being declared a saint is being “venerated.” To achieve this state, the individual must have lived a notable and holy life and must have never said anything against the beliefs of the church.
The next step is being “beatified.” Martyrs for the faith may be automatically beatified. Other individuals require a miracle attributed to their intercession. Sheen’s miracle involves a young boy who was apparently still-born but inexplicably recovered upon his mother’s prayer to Sheen for intercession.
The final step – canonization – can only occur after the acceptance of another miracle.
Reports of miracles are not enough. There is a specific office in the Vatican dedicated to investigating reported miracles and researching potential saints. There’s no limit on how long the process can take but it sometimes requires only decades. Pope John Paul II passed in 2005 and is already a saint.
Article written by Johnathan Jaehnig with Christian Catholic Media News
Jon Jaehnig is a professional freelance writer and journalist, specializing in technology and health. He is a practicing Catholic and active Knight of Columbus living in upper Michigan, USA.