A Vatican office has officially started its review of an alleged miraculous healing that occurred locally to a Carmelite priest in the Diocese of Palm Beach and could possibly lead to the canonization and sainthood of Blessed Titus Brandsma. The Diocese of Palm Beach spent a year and a half investigating the alleged miracle that is attributed to Blessed Titus, a Dutch Carmelite priest who was killed by the Nazis in 1942. Today the diocese released photographs taken this week inside the Congregation for the Cause of Saints as an official representative at the Vatican opened the 1,232 pages of sealed documents. The original documents remain in the archives of the Diocese of Palm Beach.
Last December, the Diocese of Palm Beach held an Official Closing Session in which the pages of the investigation were copied and stored in two boxes, and sealed in a certain manner, ensuring that they may only be opened by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. In its continuing effort to share with the community the promotion of the cause to sainthood for Blessed Titus Brandsma, the Diocese of Palm Beach just posted to its website photographs taken inside the Vatican office by Very Reverend J. Mario Esposito, O.Carm. The Order of Carmelites appointed Fr. Esposito as vice-postulator in this cause. As such he has been present at the Opening and Closing Sessions held in the diocese and personally delivered the sealed documents to the Vatican. The original documents remain in the archives of the Diocese of Palm Beach.
In 2004, Reverend Michael Driscoll, O.Carm., former pastor of St. Jude Church in Boca Raton, was diagnosed with a severe stage of malignant metastatic melanoma, an aggressive cancer that was attacking different parts of his body. As a sincere devotee of Fr. Brandsma, Fr. Driscoll prayed for healing through the intercession of Blessed Brandsma. Also praying were members of the Order of Carmelites, parishioners, friends, family and the faithful from around the Diocese of Palm Beach. Doctors state Fr. Driscoll's cancer is now gone and his good health over the past 12 years defies all odds. Doctors say his healing and recovery from Stage 4 cancer cannot be explained medically.
There is no set time limit for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to make a recommendation regarding the alleged unexplained medical healing of Fr. Driscoll, whether the healing can, in fact, can be attributed to Blessed Titus or if Blessed Titus would be declared a new saint of the Catholic Church. The review and decision process by the Holy See can take months or years. Members within the Congregation for the Causes of Saints will review the Diocese of Palm Beach’s extensive investigation which includes hours of interviews with witnesses, medical experts and documentation. Additionally, the members will review evidence that Blessed Brandsma lived a virtuous life, had faith and had the support and help of God. Miracles are evidence that God is working through that person. Public and private writings of the proposed saint must also be gathered and examined.
Because of the historic process of the Cause for Sainthood of Blessed Titus, there is naturally great interest among those living within the Diocese of Palm Beach to learn about the process, Blessed Titus’ life, and Fr. Driscoll illness, so the diocese created a special web page -- www.diocesepb.org/titusocarm - where one can visit to learn more and view photos. There is also information on the Titus Brandsma Center in Holland.
The Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach encompasses the five counties of Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee. Comprised of 225,749 Catholics in 53 parishes and missions, the Diocese also serves the faithful community through its elementary, middle and high schools.