The Holy Father today has approved a miracle attributed to the Servant of God, Bernard Lehner. Now, I suspect few of you are acquainted with Bernard.
He was a German lad who died at age 14 years in Germany at the height of World War II. Born in Herrngiersdorf, the son of a carpenter, he was described as a studious, religious boy who attended seminary school in Regensburg when he was thirteen years old. Soon thereafter, he contracted diptheria and taken to the children’s clinic. After ten weeks of intense suffering, he realized he was going to die and requested the Sacrament of the Sick. He died on January 24, 1944.
Early in 1948, Archbishop Michele Buchberger of Regensburg opened the process for the child’s beatification. In 1951 the documents were submitted to the Congregation of the Saints at the Holy See.
Shortly after his death, a Jesuit priest, Fr. Giuseppe Kunz, of the seminary in which Bernhard studied, wrote a short biography published in 1947.
The memory and story of Bernard Lehner spread throughout Europe. In 1952, his remains were transferred from the church cemetery to the church in the city in which he died.
Yes, even the young among us can be recognized as saints. Perhaps we need to remember this as we interact with the youth of our day.