The Diocese of Peoria, the hometown of the late soon-to-be saint, announced that Fulton Sheen will be beatified in December.

In July, Pope Francis announced the recognition of a miracle attributed to the intercession of Venerable Servant of God Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen paving the way for his beatification. The miracle involved the inexplicable recovery of James Fulton Engstrom, whose parents prayed to Sheen when he still-born during a home birth in September of 2010.

His parents, Bonnie and Travis Engstrom, sought the intercession of Archbishop Sheen and encouraged others to do the same after their baby was taken to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria for emergency treatment.

As physicians were preparing to declare a time of death, his heart started to beat at a normal rate for a healthy newborn, having been without a pulse for over an hour. His parents were told he would have a severe cognitive deficit, unable to ever walk, talk, or feed himself. Yet today, he is a perfectly normal eight year old who likes chicken nuggets, Star Wars, and riding his bike.

On Monday, the Diocese announced with “great joy and thanksgiving” that they received word from the Holy See that Pope Francis set the date for Sheen’s beatification to take place on December 21st at the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Peoria, Illinois.

“This is the same Cathedral where Sheen was ordained a priest 100 years ago on September 20, 1919. It seems entirely fitting that the Beatification will take place at the end of this 100-year anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. The Cathedral is also the current resting place for Sheen, who is entombed in a marble vault next to the altar where he was ordained.”

Want to learn more about the Fulton Sheen and his cause for canonization? Visit the official website here.

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