On Saturday, October 4, 2014 Bayonne-born Sister Miriam Teresa Demjanovich, SC will be beatified during a special Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark. The Celebrant will be Cardinal Angelo Amato, who heads the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints that oversees all canonizations.
Bishops of diocese as far away as Philadelphia received letters from Bishop Kurt Burnette, bishop of the Catholic Byzantine Eparchy (similar to a diocese) of Passaic, N.J., inviting all Catholics of the area to join in the celebration.
“Not many people around the country are aware that an American woman, Sister Miriam Teresa … will be declared ‘blessed,’” Bishop Burnette said in his letter.
“I believe many Americans will be edified to know that a fellow citizen is on the road to canonization. Furthermore, many Americans will find a friendship with God or have their friendship enlivened when they discover her writings on prayer.”
Facts about Sister Miriam Teresa’s Life:
- Born March 26, 1901 in Bayonne, daughter of Alexander and Johanna (Suchy) Demjanovich, immigrants to the United States from the area now known as Eastern Slovakia
- Raised in the Byzantine Catholic rite
- Received a Baccalaureate in Letters on June 14, 1923, graduating with highest honors from Saint Elizabeth College, Convent Station, NJ
- Entered the Sisters of Charity, Convent Station, NJ in 1925
- Died just two years later at age 26 of complications following an appendectomy
- Anonymously penned a series of 26 letters on prayer and the spiritual life that were later published as the book Greater Perfection that became popular in the 1930s.
Excerpts from this book:
Union with God, then, is the spiritual height God calls everyone to achieve – any one, not only religious but any one, who chooses, who wills to seek this pearl of great price, who specializes in the traffic of eternal good, who says ‘yes’ constantly to God….The imitation of Christ in the lives of saints is always possible and compatible with every state of life. The saints did but one thing – the will of God. But they did it with all their might. We have only to do the same thing; and according to the degree of intensity with which we labor shall our sanctification progress. (Greater Perfection, pp. 264-266)
. . . all in the Church, whether they belong to the hierarchy or are cared for by it, are called to holiness, according to the Apostle’s saying: ‘For this is the will of God, your sanctification.’ . . . It is, therefore, quite clear that all Christians in whatever state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity, and this holiness is conducive to a more human way of living even in society here on earth. (Greater Perfection, Chapter V)
- Miracle: In 1963, a third-grade boy at a New Jersey school, blind due to macular degeneration, regained his sight without treatment after the sisters led the school in prayers for Demjanovich's intercession.