Venerable Henriette Delille:

Is it a miracle? Diocese gathers facts in alleged healing

For what could be the first time in the 176-year history of the Diocese of Little Rock, a diocesan tribunal submitted formal documentation to the Vatican on an alleged healing miracle of a former Arkansas college student.

“We served as a fact-finding gathering source for the Holy See,” said Father Greg Luyet, JCL, judicial vicar of the diocese, who oversaw all canonical procedures of those involved.

The documentation prepared for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome is one possible step for the beatification cause for Venerable Henriette Delille, who founded the Sisters of the Holy Family in New Orleans. She was declared venerable for “heroic virtues” nine years ago, according to an Aug. 15 article in the Clarion Herald, the official publication of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. If her canonization cause continues, she could be the first black saint from the U.S.

What happened

Christine McGee was a 19-year-old college student when the alleged healing happened in Little Rock, said Sister Doris Goudeaux, co-director of the Henriette Delille Commission Office.

In December 2007, McGee was hospitalized for an aneurism. Sister Doris said her mother was told “she was very sick and they should try to get to the hospital as soon as they could … it looked like she was going to die.”

“Her mother said she had been devoted or was devoted to Henriette Delille. From the time she learned about her sickness, she started to pray and prayed to Henriette the whole time. Even though it seemed like things weren’t going to work, she held onto that belief,” Sister Doris said.

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