Baltimore Archdiocese to Probe Whether 'Miracle' Cancer Cure Tied to 19th-Century Priest

The Archdiocese of Baltimore plans to investigate whether an Annapolis woman's cure from cancer was a miracle, a possible step toward sainthood for a 19th-Century priest.

Mary Ellen Heibel was treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 2004 and early 2005 for malignant tumors in her lungs, liver, stomach and chest. After she was diagnosed, Heibel began praying to Blessed Francis X. Seelos, and urging others to pray as well.

Heibel, whose cancer was terminal, experienced a recovery her doctors did not expect and can't explain. She continues to pray to the priest, who served in Maryland before dying in Louisiana while treating yellow fever victims.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore plans to begin investigating the case in a few weeks, marking only the fifth such investigation in its history.