Christian Arab Nun to Be Beatified by the Roman Catholic Church

Sister Miriam Bawardi, a Christian Arab nun who died in Bethlehem 86 years ago, will be beatified by the Roman Catholic Church next month, the first native of the Holy Land to receive the blessing in more than 1,000 years, it was reported today.

According to the Greek Catholic Archbishop, Maximus Saloum. Pope John Paul II will issue his pronouncement on the anniversary of her death which occurred November 13, 1897, at the age of 33, Beatification is the first step toward sainthood.

Sister Miriam was proposed for beatification by the mother superior of the Carmelite convent in Bethlehem several years ago, supported by the Latin and Greek Catholic patriarchs. A Papal emissary later reported favorably to the Vatican.

Sister Miriam was born to poor parents in upper Galilee and took her vows after becoming the victim of an attempted rape and murder. She was a novitiate in France and, on her return to Palestine, established Carmelite convents in Nazareth and Bethlehem. She lived a life of asceticism, helping the poor and afflicted. She was credited with having performed two miraculous “cures.”

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