For anyone looking for a miracle amidst the gloomy news, the Vatican provides: The Denver Post reports that Pope Francis has set a 19th-century German nun on a journey toward sainthood after verifying she was responsible for healing a Colorado Springs boy in 1999. In the first days of his papacy, Francis upheld the miracle, which will allow for Mother Theresia Bonzel's November beatification. One more miracle is needed for sainthood. As the Post explains, the now-18-year-old Luke Burgie was struck with a mystery illness on his first day of preschool, a severe gastrointestinal condition that stumped his doctors, who were unable to ease his suffering.
After six months of violent diarrhea, which struck as many as 10 times a day, the illness mysteriously vanished—on the final day of a novena two members of Bonzel's order had prayed, in which they asked Bonzel for help. A rigorous investigation carried out by the Vatican and independent medical experts ensued over the next 14 years: to verify the Burgie family hadn't intentionally caused the disorder via, say, laxatives, and to review all available medical records. Now Bonzel is on her way, though Luke Burgie, for his part, isn't talking about it. Says his mom, "He didn't like being singled out as the miracle boy." (Read more nuns stories.)