A miracle for Fr. Peyton?


With so much bad news flowing out of Catholic Albany, New York these days, this news is heartening:

A possible miraculous cure attributed to Catholic media pioneer Father Patrick Peyton, C.S.C., could advance the beatification cause of the “Rosary Priest” known for his motto “The family that prays together, stays together.”

A tribunal based in the Diocese of Albany, N.Y., has investigated the alleged miracle and will forward its findings to Rome on June 28.

The details of the possible miracle cannot be shared at this point, explained Father John Phalen, C.S.C., president of Holy Cross Family Ministries. However, he did report that the case involves a man in his 60s who was admitted to the hospital with “life-threatening, multiple organ failure.”

“His family prayed to Father Peyton, and they strongly felt that he was healed through intercessory prayer. The medical community has offered information to support this belief,” Father Phalen said.

The man’s family is from the Albany area and was “very well aware” of the famous local priest, said Susan Wallace, director of external relations at Holy Cross Family Ministries.

“We all love Father Peyton dearly. There are many people who tell me every day, ‘Oh, he’s a saint; he doesn’t need all that paperwork,” she told CNA on June 23.

“But it is important for us to move this forward. Any time we make any progress, we celebrate. We’re very, very pleased. We’re excited to be moving forward and meeting these milestones.”

Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany and Dr. Andrea Ambrosi, the postulator of Father Peyton’s cause, asked the tribunal to conduct a thorough review of all aspects of the possible miracle. The tribunal findings will be forwarded to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome.

Bishop Hubbard will celebrate a closing liturgy for the tribunal at Albany’s St. Vincent de Paul Church at noon on June 28.

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5 responses to “A miracle for Fr. Peyton?”

  1. There is far more good news and certainly Good News in Albany, than many might suspect. And thanks be to God for that.

    This is actually great news – and thanks be to God for the healing.

  2. I get the following idea from a Byzantine Catholic Reader ( a minor order ), who visited our Parish for an Ecumenism Series. When explaining the “theology” of icons, he said, “Do not look at them, look through them.” What he meant was the icon was there to help the viewer to focus one’s attention on God.

    The article, indeed Fr Phalen, states the family prayed to Fr Peyton. Perhaps a better statement would be to pray through Fr Peyton. I know most understand this distinction, however, the more precisely we use language, the less chance of ambiguity and misunderstanding from those who don’t know the distinction.

    Okay, I am now descending from the nitpicking soap box!

  3. But we don’t pray through people. Icons are objects. People are subjects, and they have their own ideas and choices; icons sit there on the wall and are acted upon by humans on earth and by God and the saints.

    These people prayed to Father Peyton, with the understood object “for his prayers to God”. People who don’t understand that figure of speech aren’t going to understand “for his intercession” or any of the other figures of speech we use, either, and probably are under the impression that the saints can’t hear us anyway.

    There is evangelism, and then there is vain and useless deformation of the language and our Catholic identity.

  4. The point is that, while of course any saint or faithful dead person addressed in prayer would of course pray for us, these good people have the choice to pray for us or not. Icons don’t have any choice about whether they serve their purpose, because they are inanimate objects. Holy, blessed things, but things still.

  5. Folks,
    We at Holy Cross Family Ministries, the Family Rosary organization founded by Servant of God Father Patrick Peyton CSC are very happy about the review of the possible miracle in the very city where Fr. Peyton began the ministry in 1942. So many became his immediate supporters there that Fr. Peyton launched his world-wide apostolate from Albany.
    As far as “praying to Fr. Peyton” is concerned, when I say that, the meaning is that any prayer goes to God, and when we “pray to the Saints” we are really praying (asking) that they pray to God for us, as Maureen clarifies above. Mary and all the Saints pray along with us. The One Mediator to God is Jesus Christ, so we pray in His name, but Mary leads us to Him who is the Way to the Father. Fr. Peyton spent his whole life asking Mary to intercede for him and his ministry. Our Blessed Mother certainly did intercede with her Son and the success of the ministry is evidence of that. The Saints can certainly help us in our pilgrimage, and I ask that you pray (to God) that one day Fr. Peyton will be recognized as a Saint by the Church. We need a Saint for Families. (More on our blog: {familyrosary.org}

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