The Archdiocese of Baltimore’s official inquiry into an alleged healing of a parishioner of St. Mary in Annapolis through the intercession of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos was finalized Sept. 25.
The case involved the apparent healing of Mary Ellen Heibel, a devout Catholic who had been cancer-free since January 2005, even though the disease had spread to her liver, lungs, back and sternum. The cancer disappeared one week after she helped begin a weekly Blessed Seelos novena in her parish and after medical treatment had failed. Heibel died last year of unrelated pneumonia.
The fact-finding inquiry panel investigated the case, taking testimony from Heibel, her primary physician and nurse, and other key witnesses.
Redemptorist Postulator General, Father Antonio Marrazzo, submitted the results of the investigation to the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints at the Vatican Oct. 11. With the archdiocesan phase of the canonization process now complete, Father Marrazzo’s formal petition for the Decree of Unsealing the Acts effectively begins the Roman Phase.
At some point in the near future, the case will undergo scrutiny by Vatican authorities who will determine if the cure meets the criteria for the one miracle needed in Blessed Seelos’ canonization.
Blessed Seelos was a 19th century Redemptorist priest who served as pastor of St. Alphonsus in Baltimore, St. Mary in Annapolis and Ss. Peter and Paul in Cumberland.