Unknown Calif. Housewife on Road to Sainthood
Cora Evans claimed to receive visions of Jesus
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2013 9:07 AM CDT
Pope Francis celebrates his first canonization ceremony in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.   (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

(Newser) – A late California housewife has started on the path to sainthood, and the San Jose Mercury News digs into the "largely unknown" woman's story. During her lifetime, Cora Evans, who died in 1957 and was declared a "Servant of God" by the Vatican last year, would reportedly slip into a coma-like state, in which she claimed to receive religious visions and meet Jesus (her name for him: "the master"). Her daughter also says she had the stigmata. Evans wrote extensively about her experiences, and her writing ended up in the hands of a family friend who—along with a cousin—is now campaigning for her canonization, and has raised $700,000 to make it happen.

"Over the years, I would read Cora's writings and wonder: Why (am I) reading this? The pope should be reading this," he says. But her "Servant of God" designation is a long way from saint. Evans received the Servant of God title in March 2012, but her life will be examined by theologians for several more years; they will debate upgrading her to "Venerable." After that, the hardest part: proving she performed two miracles. The men pushing her cause say miracles may have occurred in her name, but they likely wouldn't stand up to the Vatican's scrutiny. But they're hoping as more people are exposed to her, more people will ask for her aid.