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Nun who confronted Billy the Kid on road to sainthood

by Desmond Busteed

The case for Sister Blandina Segale's canonisation has been presented before the Archdiocese of Santa Fe at a ceremonial "first inquiry" in Albuquerque in the United States.

According to AP, former Archbishop Michael Sheehan led the inquiry that will determine if there is enough evidence to move her case through the Vatican's secretive process.

Supporters and researchers claim there is evidence to suggest Segale fought against the cruel treatment of American Indians and sought to stop the trafficking of women as sex slaves. They also testified that in death, Segale has helped cancer patients and poor immigrants who have prayed to her for help.

It's also claimed the nun calmed angry mobs and helped open New Mexico territory hospitals.

The Vatican has to investigate her work and monitor for any related "miracles" and officials say determining whether Segale qualifies for sainthood could take up to a century.

Those miracles could come in the form of healings, assistance to immigrant children detained at the U.S. border or some other unexplained occurrences after devotees pray to her.

"Sister Blandina as a canonized saint will lead and strengthen thousands of others to see that they, too, can fight injustice with compassion and untiring ingenuity," said Victoria Marie Forde of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati

Church officials said it is the first time in New Mexico's 400-year history with the Roman Catholic Church that a decree opening the cause of beatification and canonization has been declared in New Mexico.

Segale, a nun with the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, came to Trinidad, Colorado, in 1877 to teach poor children and was later transferred to Santa Fe, where she co-founded public and Catholic schools.


According to one story, she received a tip that The Kid was coming to her town to scalp the four doctors who refused to treat his friend's gunshot wound. Segale nursed the friend to health, and when Billy went to Trinidad to thank her, she asked him to abandon his violent plan. He agreed.

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