ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – The Archdiocese of Santa Fe is exploring sainthood for an Italian-born nun who challenged Billy the Kid and later helped open New Mexico territory hospitals and schools.
Archbishop Michael Sheehan announced Wednesday that he has received permission from the Vatican to open the “Sainthood Cause” for Sister Blandina Segale.
Church officials say it’s 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.
Segale, a nun with the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati and an advocate for Hispanics and Native Americans, founded schools in New Mexico and St. Joseph Hospital.
Her encounters with Old West outlaws later became the subject of a CBS series “Death Valley Days” episode, “The Fastest Nun in the West.”
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed