Possible Miracle for 'Rosary Priest'

Vatican to consider cure through intercession of Father Patrick Peyton, Catholic media pioneer.

(photo: Father Peyton Facebook page)

Albany, N.Y. (CNA) — A possible miraculous cure attributed to Catholic media pioneer Father Patrick Peyton, C.S.C., could advance the beatification cause of the “Rosary Priest” known for his motto “The family that prays together, stays together.”

A tribunal based in the Diocese of Albany, N.Y., has investigated the alleged miracle and will forward its findings to Rome on June 28.

The details of the possible miracle cannot be shared at this point, explained Father John Phalen, C.S.C., president of Holy Cross Family Ministries. However, he did report that the case involves a man in his 60s who was admitted to the hospital with “life-threatening, multiple organ failure.”

“His family prayed to Father Peyton, and they strongly felt that he was healed through intercessory prayer. The medical community has offered information to support this belief,” Father Phalen said.

The man’s family is from the Albany area and was “very well aware” of the famous local priest, said Susan Wallace, director of external relations at Holy Cross Family Ministries.

“We all love Father Peyton dearly. There are many people who tell me every day, ‘Oh, he’s a saint; he doesn’t need all that paperwork,” she told CNA on June 23.

“But it is important for us to move this forward. Any time we make any progress, we celebrate. We’re very, very pleased. We’re excited to be moving forward and meeting these milestones.”

Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany and Dr. Andrea Ambrosi, the postulator of Father Peyton’s cause, asked the tribunal to conduct a thorough review of all aspects of the possible miracle. The tribunal findings will be forwarded to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome.

Bishop Hubbard will celebrate a closing liturgy for the tribunal at Albany’s St. Vincent de Paul Church at noon on June 28.

Father Phalen said Holy Cross Family Ministries, which Father Peyton founded, hears frequently from people around the world who believe they were healed by the
priest’s intercession.

“Many others simply share stories of being touched by his holiness,” Father Phalen explained. “While they may already consider him a saint, we are all pleased to see progress in his cause.”

Father Peyton emigrated from Ireland to the United States in 1928 at the age of 19. Ordained to the priesthood in 1941, he founded the Family Rosary apostolate in Albany, N.Y., the following year. He conducted Rosary crusades in 40 countries and drew 28 million attendees.

In 1947 he created Family Theater Productions, which has produced about 600 radio and television programs featuring hundreds of actors and celebrities. More than 10,000 of these programs have been broadcast.

The priest died in 1992 and was declared a Servant of God in 2001.

Holy Cross Family Ministries runs a website about Father Peyton and his cause for beatification.

Wallace said Father Peyton’s entire ministry was rooted in the family Rosary prayed in his home growing up.

“He knew how strong that made his family,” she said, deeming his motto about family prayer to be “still relevant and powerful.”

She added, “There’s a great need for families to come together and pray.”