04 – Cause: From Beatification to Canonization
A- Story of one of the miracles studied during the canonical trial: The Healing of Sister Marie-Jean
Since Mother Thérèse was beatified on November 4, 1951, the Cause for her Canonization was reintroduced on July 26, 1953. Two miracles had indeed been retained to be studied. These were the healings of Sister Marie-Jean, Augustinian Nun of Mons (Belgium) and Sister Madeleine Delattre, Sister of the Cenacle.
Sister Marie-Jean (born 1901) joined the Augustinian Sisters on March 22, 1925. From the beginning of her religious life she suffered from ear and also from lung problems. In 1929 her illness worsened. She was found with chronic ear infection.
In 1940, she experienced intolerable pain with a high fever. It was during the German invasion. A doctor who was passing by brought her into the clinic where she was diagnosed with an infectious mastoiditis with cervical phlebitis. It was feared that she would develop meningitis. Sister was operated on urgently (late May 1940). Four months later in September 1940, she had another operation and remained in coma for twelve hours.
After a month in the clinic, Sister Marie-Jean returned to her community where she was cared for without improvement.
In 1945, the osteitis got worse. Sister Maire-Jean was operated for the third time.
The patient’s condition remained unchanged and the formation of polyps was noted, which the doctor removed from her ear. But healing was impossible.
At the end of June 1952, the same doctor spoke of a fourth operation, but he decided not to do it because the risk was too great.
The Sister was then advised to pray to Mother Thérèse: “I recited the prayer printed on the back of the image of Mother Thérèse, she said, and when the novena ended I continued to pray to her, but I did not trust, I had never prayed for my healing. At this moment I read the life of Mother Thérèse entitled "A Great and Humble Soul". After this reading my confidence increased and I said to myself: "I would be happy to be healed, but I would prefer humility to the benefit of not suffering anymore". [..] I said morning and evening an Ave Maria and I kissed the relic. [..] I would put the relic on the left side of my head and leave it there day and night. [...]
On August 16, 1952, when I woke up in the morning, I noticed for the first time that my ear had not festered and that the bandage was still clean and dry. I was also amazed to have slept so well. I no longer felt any pain either in the ear or in the head; I felt an unusual well-being. […]
My first reaction in the morning was to say: "Mother Thérèse healed me" and I kissed the relic to thank her; but at the same time I was worried, because the doctor had told me that the cessation of the pus secretion could be deadly.
A few days later, I went to see the doctor. After examining me, he said to me: "My Sister, the doctor has treated you well, but the Good Lord has given you great grace, there is something supernatural in your healing". The X-ray [done a few months later] revealed my complete recovery from mastoiditis and the perfect condition of my lungs.
After the healing, I no longer took medication and I enjoyed good health"
(Deposition in Brussels, March 26, 1954)
Illustrations : photo 1 : Sister Marie-Jean, one month after her healing ; photo 2 : Sister Marie-Jean (with glasses) near the shrine-reliquary of Mother Thérèse, with Sr. Marie-Louise Lamy, May 1970.
B - Below, documents and photos of what happened between the Beatification and the Canonization