Fulton Sheen miracle approved

Experts pass intercession case to Rome

A team of medical experts examining an alleged miraculous intercession by the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen have concluded there is no natural explanation for the circumstances around the case of a stillborn child at the heart of their investigation.

Now aged three, James Fulton Engstrom was delivered stillborn when his umbilical cord became twisted about his neck after his mother, Bonnie, went into labour at his home in the United States. Others present at the birth began first aid attempts to revive the infant for some 20 minutes as they awaited the arrival of an ambulance. Throughout that time, according to Bonnie, she repeated the name of Fulton Sheen over and over for the wellbeing of her child.

Medical intervention at hospital seemingly failed to have an effect on James, who at that stage was described as being cold. However, as doctors prepared to declare his death, the child’s heart began to beat at a normal and healthy rate. From delivery to that moment, 61 minutes had elapsed.

The medical report as part of Archbishop Sheen’s cause will now be presented to theologians with the Congregations for the Causes of Saints.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen was widely known among US Catholics through his nearly 30 years of evangelisation both on radio and television. His Cause for Canonisation was opened in 2002, and he was declared Venerable by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012.