With the latest development in the Fulton Sheen Canonization saga, it looks like things might be moving forward for this incredible man’s canonization.
I say “might” because we’ve been through this before, and the inability of two bishops to play nice in the sandbox has dashed those hopes.
Here are eight reasons why Fulton Sheen is epic!
1. He is a quote machine
Have a favorite Catholic quote? Chances are it’s attributed to Venerable Fulton Sheen, who turned out Catholic quotes like nobody’s business. Here are a few of our favorites:
- “Hearing nuns’ confessions is like being stoned to death with popcorn.”
- “Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius.”
- “Show me your hands. Do they have scars from giving? Show me your feet. Are they wounded in service? Show me your heart. Have you left a place for divine love?”
- “The big print giveth, and the fine print taketh away.”
- “I feel it is time that I also pay tribute to my four writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.”
- “In journalism, the modern man wants controversy, not truth.”
- “To pass from sadness to joy requires a birth, a moment of travail and labor, for no one ever mounts to a higher level of life without death to the lower.”
- “Unless there is a Good Friday in your life, there can be no Easter Sunday.”
- “Humility is not self-contempt but the truth about ourselves coupled with a reverence for others; it is self-surrender to the highest goal.”
- “Our intellects do not make the truth; they attain it: they discover it.”
- “Sometimes the only way the good Lord can get into some hearts is to break them.”
- “If you don’t behave as you believe, you will end by believing as you behave.”
- “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”
2. He was a media icon
Venerable Fulton Sheen hosted a radio show, The Catholic Hour, and two television shows, Life Is Worth Living and The Fulton Sheen Program. This led to his popularity and an appearance on What’s My Line?
3. He had enemies
Allegedly, several of his brother bishops were jealous of his fame and conspired to lessen his power and popularity. Also, the FBI became worried about him and created a file on him.
However, Fulton Sheen never spoke about the alleged wrongs done to him, but only mentioned “trials both inside and outside the Church.”
4. There is a fight over who gets to have his body
Throughout the history of the Church, there have been numerous instances of people stealing relics of saints and arguments over where a saint ought to have their final resting place. This is happening over the body of Fulton Sheen.
The Diocese of Peoria, who took up the cause of his canonization after the Archdiocese of New York declined to do so, wants his body and has a shrine ready for his remains.
However, the Archdiocese of New York is refusing to let them take his body out of St. Patrick’s Cathedral where his body currently rests.
5. He was a prolific writer
Wikipedia says he wrote 73 books, but other sources say he wrote 66 books. Regardless of the exact total, it is astounding how much he wrote, and he definitely wrote more than 60 books more than I have written.
Saint John Paul II told him, “You have written and spoken well of the Lord Jesus Christ. You are a loyal son of the Church.”
6. There is a miracle attributed to him
The revival of a still-born baby has been attributed by a panel of experts to the intercession of Venerable Fulton Sheen. The baby, James Fulton Engstrom, did not breathe for the first 61 minutes of his life on September 16, 2010.
Just as the doctors were giving up and calling the time of death, he began to breathe. The doctors told his parents that their child might not live much longer and that, if he did, he would have cerebral palsy or some other difficulties.
But, to this day, James is a perfectly healthy child.
7. A well-known actor took his stage name to honor him
One of the reasons Ramón Gerard Antonio Estévez decided to take the stage name Martin was his admiration for Fulton Sheen.
8. My men’s group considers Fulton Sheen our patron
While forming our men’s group, we were inspired by the quote “Christ did not come to make us nice people. He came to make us new men.”
This inspired us because we wanted to become better, new men. Thus, we ask for his intercession at our weekly meetings.