Audrey Santo has died

Audrey Santo has died

Audrey Santo has died. You may not know who she is, but many people from Massachusetts and beyond did, even though she spent most of her life in a semi-comatose state. (Her family lives in the Diocese of Worcester, Mass., to the west of Boston.)

Audrey was considered by many to be a “Suffering Soul.” In 1987, when she was four, she nearly drowned in her family’s pool. Usually that would be a tragedy that would remain fairly anonymous, but in Audrey’s case, God had other plans.

Her parents are devout Catholics and they turned in prayer to God. Soon unexplainable events began to occur. I won’t go into all the details, but they included answered prayers, miraculous healings, statues oozing oil, and so on. There was an “odor of sanctity” from the young girl. Word spread, as it does in such cases, and people began to visit the family’s home. Soon there was a kind of shrine set up in the family’s garage, but eventually it wasn’t enough. Every years a healing Mass was celebrated, first at the home, then at their parish, Christ the King, when the crowds grew too large.

“Immediately after Audrey’s accident I was faced with a choice to either let this event define me by being a blessing, or destroying my family and myself,” Audrey’s mother, Linda Santo, said in a statement issued by the family. “I chose the former, and it continues to be a blessing still. I don’t blame God for the accident. I don’t believe God did this, but I do believe God used this event.”

Roman Catholic investigators never established whether Audrey was a miracle worker.

“We may never fully understand the causes of various paranormal events which have been reported to have occurred in their home,” Worcester Bishop Robert McManus said in a statement posted on the diocese’s Web site. “At this time, however, one thing is certain. Everyone who visited their home was touched by the unswaying commitment to life that was exhibited each and every day by the Santo family and by the extensive network of friends and volunteers.”

McManus will attend Audrey’s funeral Mass, scheduled for Wednesday at St. Paul’s Cathedral. In addition to her mother, she is survived by her father and three siblings.

I have quite a few friends who have visited Audrey’s home. In my opinion, it won’t be long after the three-year period has elapsed before a cause for canonization is opened. I will pray for her intercession for some friends who knew the Santos but who have strayed from the Church.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli