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Minnesota sister could be on the road to canonization

College of Saint Benedict St. Joseph Minnesota

By Bobak Ha'Eri, CC BY 3.0

Philip Kosloski - published on 11/01/23

Bishop Andrew Cozzens is investigating the life of Sr. Annella Zervas, to see if she could be a candidate for canonization.

Bishop Andrew Cozzens of the Crookston Diocese in Minnesota released a letter recently detailing his plan to investigate the life and legacy of Sr. Annella Zervas, OSB.

Sr. Annella was born in Moorhead, Minnesota, on April 7, 1900, to a German immigrant family. She attended the Catholic school at her local parish and felt drawn to join the Benedictine sisters who taught there.

At only 15 years old she joined St. Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota and eventually become a music teacher and organist with the Benedictine sisters.

Then her life changed. In 1923 she became afflicted with a rare skin disease. This caused her a great amount of suffering, which she offered up to God as a sacrifice.

Sr. Annella died when she was 24 years old, but her saintly example was an inspiration to the local community.

According to the Catholic News Agency, “Those praying for the Benedictine sister’s intercession have reported miracles and answers to prayers.”

Bishop Cozzens “shared that he too is inspired by the nun’s story, which he first learned about through his own sister. He acknowledged receiving many requests from people to begin the formal process of investigation to determine her holiness.”

This initial phase of investigation is meant to examine her life, as well as to determine if any cause was started in the past, as some writings call her “Servant of God,” though there is no clear record of an official cause for her canonization.

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