Bishop Baraga: the Snowshoe Saint?

The Upper Peninsula’s legendary ‘snowshoe priest’, Bishop Frederic Baraga, may be a step closer to becoming a saint.

On Friday, the Marquette Catholic diocese is starting an investigation into a possible miracle attributed to Bishop Baraga.

In 2006, someone in the diocese was cured of a painful mass on the liver through prayers to Bishop Baraga that a priest and family members were making while the bishop’s stole was placed on the patient’s abdomen.

Doctors diagnosed the liver problem through CT scans and ultrasound.

They couldn’t explain how the mass, and the pain, went away.

Marquette Bishop Alexander Sample says while this is a beautiful occasion for U.P. Catholics, it should be great news for all of us in the region because Bishop Baraga is a part of our common heritage.

The tribunal the diocese has appointed should finish the investigation by June.

Then the case gets sent to Rome a month later.

If Rome’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints supports the claim, Bishop Baraga would be halfway there.

A second miracle would still need to be found, investigated and verified for him to be declared a saint.