1-November-2012 -- Catholic News Agency |

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Miracle Could Allow Canonization Of First Colombian-born Saint

(http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=25967)

MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA, October 31 (CNA/EWTN News) .- A second miracle confirmed on June 14 by doctors appointed by the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints could advance the sainthood of Blessed Laura de Jesus Montoya Upegui.

According to the newspaper El Tiempo, Vatican officials are expected to issue a decision on the miracle on Dec. 10. A decree by Pope Benedict would pave the way for Blessed Laura's canonization as Colombia's first native-born saint.

The miracle that occurred through the 20th century blessed's intercession was the healing of Dr. Carlos Eduardo Restrepo, who was suffering from lupus, kidney damage and muscular degeneration. After praying the Blessed Laura one night, the doctor woke up the following morning completely cured.

"Mother Laura," he prayed that night, "If you heal me of this, I will tell the world about your miracle so that you will be raised to the altars."

"My mind has gone blank. I don't know if I had an out-of-body experience or if I imagined it, or if it was my subconscious, but when I entrusted myself to Blessed Laura I felt a wonderful sense of peace," he said.

"If this isn't a miracle, I don't know what is," Doctor Restrepo told the Colombian newspaper.

Sister Aida Orobio, superior of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Mary Immaculate and St. Catherine of Siena - which was founded by Blessed Laura - said, "Not even her in her homeland do people realize how brave and marvelous this woman was."

"In an era in which women were supposed to stay by men, Laura dared to follow God's call, even though she was called crazy," she added.

The sister noted how Blessed Laura's conversion began when she encountered a group of local Indians who were being mistreated and dehumanized.

"How is it possible that they lived so marginalized and estranged from God, if they were just as Colombian as anyone else and were the first inhabitants of these lands," Sister Orobio reflected.

Eventually, Blessed Laura moved into the Colombian rain forest and began to live and work with the Indians, despite difficulties and attacks from landowners in the region.

She died on Oct. 21, 1949 in a home in Medellin that is today a museum and convent. Her congregation has spread to Africa, America and Europe.

Those who knew her recalled that during her last days, "She had a great sense of humor. She poked fun at everything in a pious way, especially of herself."

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