A New Jersey nun credited with curing a boy's eye disease is moving a step closer to sainthood with her beatification. A beatification Mass for Sister Miriam Teresa Demjanovich, who died in 1927 at age 26, was being led today by Cardinal Angelo Amato at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark. It is the third in a four-step process toward sainthood. Demjanovich is credited by the church with curing a boy's macular degeneration in the 1960s. The boy, Michael Mencer, was given a lock of the nun's hair and prayed to her. The effects of the eye disease soon began to fade, Roman Catholic Church officials say.
"Within a period of six weeks, it was totally reversed," says Sister Mary Canavan of the Sisters of Charity, the order to which Demjanovich belonged. Demjanovich was born in Bayonne, southeast of Newark, and was a Sister of Charity for only two years before dying from complications of appendicitis. During her short time in the order, she was best known for her virtue and her mature writings. Beatification requires evidence of one miracle that happened after the candidate has died and as a result of a specific plea to the candidate. Sainthood requires a second miracle.