Archive for the ‘Blessed Francis Seelos’ Category

Seelos miracle coverage

June 30, 2009

There was a sudden spike in readership here today, and I wasn’t sure why.  Then I noticed on my WordPress stats that a ton of people had found their way here by searching “Francis Seelos.”  But why the sudden interest in him, I wondered. 

Turns out, the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Seelos miracle investigation is getting some increasingly significant coverage.  I noted below that AOL News had reported on it yesterday.  Now today, Fox News has picked up (via the AP).  Also, it was covered on a Baltimore station’s television news, and that coverage has been posted on YouTube:

For visitors who are interested, I summarize Seelos’ life and ministry here.  But don’t take my word for it; there’s a great Seelos website here.

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On 2 American Causes

June 29, 2009

Two articles out this weekend, relating to the causes of two American figures who lived around the same time:

A lengthy Baltimore Sun article on the official investigation of a miracle attributed to Blessed Francis Seelos (1819-1867).  It regards an Annapolis woman who recovered (miraculously?) from cancer.  (UPDATE: AOL has picked up on the Sun‘s story and put a headline, with link to a report, on their front page today, 6/29/09.)

An article from the Buffalo News on the cause of Fr. Nelson Baker (1841-1936), who lived in Lackawanna, NY, related to a new book called The Father Baker Code.   Clip:

In the new book, Koerner recounts stories about Father Baker’s alleged wonder-working, including that of Mary Timm, a former employee in the basilica gift shop who told many people about her experience in which an apparition of Father Baker scared off a robber who was holding up the store; he also tells of healing stories involving Baker, including that of a woman healed of a serious ear condition in 1999 in the basilica.

Koerner said it was stories like that one – in which a person prayed to Baker, and believed himself or herself healed of a serious illness through Baker’s intervention – that led him to the title of his book.

“It’s a theory of mine,” he said. “The code I’ve come across with Baker is, if you combine piety with suffering, it leads to miracles. It’s almost like a rule. It’s the key to his whole life – he can empathize with suffering, because he has been through it himself.”

There’s a blog on Baker and his cause here.

Blessed Francis Seelos miracle?

May 29, 2009

From the Baltimore Sun last week:SeelosSeatedBrievary

Archdiocese to investigate alleged miracle

19th century priest could be canonized a saint

By Matthew Hay Brown

Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien commissioned a panel of experts on Tuesday to investigate the allegedly miraculous healing of an Annapolis woman through the intercession of a 19th-century Baltimore cleric.

Mary Ellen Heibel, a parishioner of St. Mary Catholic Church in Annapolis, says prayers to Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos led to the healing of her metastasized esophageal cancer, according to the Archdiocese of Baltimore. If accepted as miraculous by Rome, such a cure could lead to his canonization as a saint.

O’Brien commissioned the five-member panel at the request of the Redemptorist order, to which Seelos belonged. The members include the archdiocesan judicial vicar, a canon lawyer and the chief of surgery at Mercy Medical Center, each of whom swore an oath of office during Mass on Tuesday at the Baltimore Basilica.

Source (which continues) here.  More on the Mass and the alleged miracle here.

Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos was born in Germany in 1819.  He joined the Redemptorist order and soon came to the U.S. in 1843.  He was ordained a priest in Baltimore the following year.  He worked in Pittsburgh for 9 years (for a while as assistant pastor to St. John Neumann!), then Baltimore, Cumberland, and Annapolis.  After having himself excused by the Pope from a proposed appointment as Bishop of Pittsburgh, Francis became an itinerate preacher on a tour which took him to  Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.  After that he served as a pastor in Detroit, and finally lived the last months of his life as a pastor in New Orleans!   The guy knew America.

Seelos was beatified by John Paul II in 2000. 

Great site loaded with information on him here.

Hopefully canonization will come and we’ll have more reason to talk about him here.