Fonda, NY, Dec 26, 2011 — Last week, the Vatican declared that a Washington state boy's recovery from a deadly and debilitating illness was a miracle. The Pope signed documents attributing 11-year-old Jake Finkbonner's survival to the intercession of Kateri Tekakwitha. She was a 17th century Mohawk woman who lived in what is now Upstate New York and who converted to Catholicism.
The Pope's decision moves Kateri one step closer to full sainthood. Last week, Bishop Terry LaValley, head of the Diocese of Ogdensburg, issued a statement saying "we eagerly await that day when the church declares that she is numbered among the saints in heaven."
Back in April, NPR's religion corrrespondent, Barbara Bradley-Hagerty, examined the process by which the Vatican decides which miracles are authentic.