|USA||SOCIALITE EXPECTED TO BECOME SAINT|
A 19th century Philadelphia socialite who used her multimillion-dollar inheritance to found a religious order is expected to become the US Church's fourth saint, church officials said on Thursday.
Mother Katharine Drexel, whose banking family left its name on Drexel University and the defunct Wall Street firm of Drexel Burnham Lambert, could be canonized as early as October, 45 years after her death in 1955.
Pope John Paul II issued a decree in Rome on Thursday officially recognising a miracle attributed to her. A two-year-old girl was cured of nerve deafness in 1994 after her parents began praying to Mother Drexel, who was beatified in 1988.
"There is no question that God worked through Mother Katharine Drexel, and her ministry continues even now," Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua of the Philadelphia Archdiocese said at a news conference held to announce the pope's decree.
Reuters 12:15am 31/1/00