An Italian-born nun who confronted Billy the Kid, calmed angry mobs and helped open New Mexico territory hospitals and schools faced her first test for the long road to sainthood on Tuesday. Supporters and researchers presented their case before the Archdiocese of Santa Fe at a ceremonial “first inquiry” in Albuquerque on why Sister Blandina Segale should become a saint. The public inquiry, headed by former Archbishop Michael Sheehan, was aimed at determining if there was enough evidence to move her case through the largely secret process at the Vatican. Witnesses said Segale fought against the cruel treatment of American Indians and sought to stop the trafficking of women as sex slaves. They also testified that in death, Segale has helped cancer patients and poor immigrants who have prayed to her for help. Victoria Marie Forde of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati said documents showed Segale went out of her way to provide assistance to Italian-American immigrants and protect Mexican Americans facing violence in western territories. “Sister Blandina as a canonized saint will lead and strengthen thousands of others to see that they, too, can fight injustice with compassion and untiring ingenuity,” she said.
You can learn more about Sister Blandina at the website devoted to her sainthood cause.