By Kevin J. Jones
A possible miraculous cure attributed to Catholic media pioneer Fr. 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 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 Fr. John Phalen, C.S.C., president of Holy Cross Family Ministries. However, he did report that the case involves a man in his sixties 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,” Fr. 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 Fr. 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 J. Hubbard of Albany and Dr. Andrea Ambrosi, the postulator of Fr. 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 of the Causes of the 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.
Fr. Phalen said Holy Cross Family Ministries, which Fr. Peyton founded, hears frequently from people around the world who believe they were healed by the priest’s intercession.
“Many others simply share stories of being touched by his holiness,” Fr. Phalen explained. “While they may already consider him a saint, we are all pleased to see progress in his cause.”
Wallace said Fr. Peyton’s entire ministry was rooted in the Family Rosary prayed in his home growing up.
“He knew how strong that made his family,” she said, deeming his motto about family prayer to be “still relevant and powerful.”
“There’s a great need for families to come together and pray,” she added.
Fr. Peyton emigrated from Ireland to the United States in 1928 at the age of 19. Ordained to the priesthood in 1941, he founded the Family Rosary apostolate in Albany, New York the following year. He conducted Rosary crusades in 40 countries and drew 28 million attendees.
In 1947 he created Family Theater Productions, which has produced about 600 radio and television programs featuring hundreds of actors and celebrities. More than 10,000 of these programs have been broadcast.
The priest died in 1992 and was declared a Servant of God in 2001.
Holy Cross Family Ministries runs a website about Fr. Peyton and his cause for beatification at http://www.fatherpeyton.org.