Sophie's "miracle" not enough for MacKillop sainthood

Announcing tomorrow's feast day celebrations of Blessed Mary MacKillop, the vice-postulator of her cause, Sr Maria Casey, emphasised that although Sydney's schoolgirl's Sophie Delezio recovery from two major accidents seems "miraculous", more is required to authenticate a miracle for canonisation purposes.

The Catholic Leader reports that the amazing recovery of five-year-old Sophie Delezio from a second serious traffic accident in less than three years is unlikely to be the miracle needed.

The family believed the power of prayer, particularly to Blessed Mary MacKillop, led to Sophie's recovery after her close encounter with death on the first occasion in December 2003, Josephite Sr Maria Casey said. The family also prayed to the future saint after the accident in May.

Sophie was critically burnt when a car crashed through the front of a Fairlight pre-school in December 2003.

She required skin grafts to treat third degree burns to more than 85 per cent of her body. She lost both feet, fingers and an ear as a result of the accident.

In May, Sophie was again on life support after a car smashed into her pram while she was being pushed across a pedestrian crossing in Seaforth, a northern suburb of Sydney.

The accident left her with a broken jaw and shoulder bone, bruising to her head, rib fractures and bleeding around her left lung caused by massive blunt force trauma.

Sr Casey said Sophie's parents, Ron and Carolyn, publicly attributed to the intercession of Mary MacKillop the fact their little girl was still alive and able to attend school.

However, she said the criteria doctors used in Australia to authenticate a miracle was "very, very strict".

Sr Casey said, on a recent trip to Rome, she visited the Congregation for Saints' Causes where the need for another miracle was reiterated before the canonisation process could proceed.

Meanwhile, at Mary MacKillop Place, North Sydney, the shrine where the mortal remains of Blessed Mary MacKillop rest, the Sisters of St Joseph and other staff are preparing to celebrate her 8 August feast day.

Photo: The Catholic Weekly

Sophie's little 'miracle': Not the one for Mary MacKillop's sainthood (Catholic Leader, 6/8/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Sisters of St Joseph

Hopes rise for Blessed Mary's sainthood
(CathNews, 23/6/05)

More room to reflect on Blessed Mary MacKillop (CathNews 13/1/05)
Miracle identification could mean MacKillop sainthood (CathNews 5/7/04)
MacKillop saintmaker calls doctor miracle denial "unscientific" (CathNews 27/11/03)
Miracle needed for Mary's sainthood (CathNews 18/11/03)
Teresa's in line, but Mary may need miracle (CathNews 27/10/03)
Boy's cancer cure could be MacKillop's required second miracle (CathNews 22/9/03)
Mary MacKillop hits Sydney harbour (CathNews, 14/9/00)

7 Aug 2006