Audrey Santo, a Massachusetts woman who died in April 2007 and who had not walked nor talked since 1987 when she fell into a swimming pool, should be considered for sainthood according to the Little Audrey Santo Foundation.
Her family, friends, and local Catholic Church leaders believe the then-three-year-old was saved from drowning because God wanted her to be an instrument for God. During the time she lay in her bed in her parents’ home, several events transpired that they claim prove she was anointed by God.
A picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe exuded oil. Human blood was discovered on a statue of the Good Shepherd and a picture of St. Rita. Five bleeding communion wafers were also identified by priests in the church and in 1996, blood flowed from the tabernacle (receptacle that holds the vessels containing the Blessed Sacrament).
The oil that exudes from the blessed images of Jesus, Mary, other statues and pictures, and the Chalices and Ciboriums can be ordered through Little Audrey’s website. It is free, although donations are solicited for the Foundation.
Her family also claims that other signs and wonders manifested with Audrey, around her and about her, including unexplainable (medically) marks on her body that resemble the wounds of Christ.
The Foundation’s request was made under the auspices of Bishop Robert J. McManus of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Worcester, Mass. The church official said he granted the foundation a "canonical blessing" that opened the door for such Vatican requests. The family’s pastor, Rev. John Foley is president of the Foundation and Cause for Canonization of Audrey Santo.
It is unclear to non-Catholics how a connection to “bleeding statues” and “exuding oil” is a road to sainthood or why God would use an otherwise-healthy little girl to be part of these manifestations. Her family believes that the good fruits of these unexplained happenings are of God, signs and wonders to get people’s attention. “We believe even though Audrey does not walk or talk that she is valuable and God chose her as He often chooses the seemingly inadequate, unproductive but mostly the pure and innocent to convey His message. In a world of infanticide, homicide and genocide God wants us to choose the right side,” says a website dedicated to the young woman.
McManus concedes that it sometimes takes centuries for people to be named saints. There also must be a minimum of two authenticated miracles after her death to qualify her to become a saint.