Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel, after a Vatican-recognized miracle in Colorado.
“We are enthusiastically surprised,” Sister Clarice Gentrup, the congregation's vicar general, told CNA April 2.
“After all these years, we’re coming closer and closer to beatification and canonization, possibly.”
Pope Francis approved the 19th century nun's beatification on March 27. The ceremony will be celebrated at the Catholic cathedral in Paderborn, Germany on Nov. 10 and her hometown of Olpe will host an event on Nov. 11.
The miracle attributed to Mother Maria Theresia involves the healing of a Colorado Springs boy named Luke Burgie. In September 1998, at the age of four, he began suffering from a severe viral infection that caused chronic diarrhea. Many doctors and specialists could not cure him.
“Nobody could really diagnose what the cause of it was,” Sr. Gentrup said. “They tried to heal him, but nothing helped. He was losing weight, and a little four-year-old doesn’t have a lot of weight to lose.”
Luke's older sister Jill met some Sisters of St. Francis when they visited her parish elementary school, where she was a student. Her family invited two sisters to supper at their home, where they learned about Luke’s illness. The sisters began a novena to Mother Maria Theresia for Luke in late January 1999.
Luke was suddenly cured on Feb. 22, 1999, without scientific explanation.
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PrayerMother Maria Theresia Bonzel, you lived an exemplary Eucharistic life of deep faith, persistent hope, and intense love. You experienced and reverenced Christ in the Eucharist and in all God's creatures, seeking to live a life of "all-embracing adoration." With special concern for the poor and those in need, you reached out with open hands and a loving heart to assist all who asked your help. With sincere trust and confidence, I now come to you in my need. Through your intercession, I pray that God will grant my petition - (Name your petition) - and transform my heart that I, too, might recognize God's presence in every creature and live a life of reverence. Mother Maria Theresia, hear my prayer and grant my petition which I ask in Jesus' name. Amen.