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On Wednesday, January 24, the Vatican Dicastery of the Causes of Saints officially approved a second miracle that was attributed to the intercession of Bl. Marie-Léonie Paradis.
The miracle involved the medically unexplained recovery of a baby girl on November 9, 1986. The baby was born without any signs of life, but after her family prayed for the intercession of Bl. Marie-Léonie, the child began to move and is now a healthy woman.
The confirmation of this miracle paves the way for her canonization, after which she will be called a “saint.” Previously she was beatified by St. John Paul II on September 11, 1984, at Jarry Park in Montreal.
Who is Bl. Marie-Léonie Paradis?
Born to a poor family in 1840 in Quebec, Alodie-Virginie Paradis was drawn to the religious life at an early age. By 13 she joined the Congregation of the Marianites of the Holy Cross and flourished in the convent, taking the name Marie-Léonie.
She was known as a great teacher and was sent in 1862 to St. Vincent de Paul Orphanage in New York. Marie remained at her new assignment for several years, until the United States branch of the congregation split and moved to Notre Dame, Indiana. There she taught at St. Mary Academy for a few years, but was then invited back to Canada to help at the College of St. Joseph in Memramcook, New Brunswick.
Marie traveled back to Canada and soon enough her joyful example of religious life attracted women who wanted to work with her in a new religious congregation. The Bishop of Montreal heard of Marie and encouraged her to found a new congregation of religious who would aid priests and religious. With the bishop’s support, she established the Little Sisters of the Holy Family on May 31, 1880.
Everyone who met her was inspired by her simple holiness and generous heart.
She died on May 3, 1912, in Sherbrooke, at the age of 72. According to her sisters, she died shortly after supper and said to one of them, “Goodbye, see you in heaven!”