SANTA CRUZ (KCBS)—An obscure Catholic mystic from the Santa Cruz Mountains who died in 1957 could be California’s first official saint as the Catholic Church started the arduous process on canonization on Tuesday.

Cora Evans, a devout homemaker from Boulder Creek who would often slip into a coma-like prayer, has been declared a “Servant of God” by the Vatican—the first step to become a saint.

“There are theologians reading her writings. We are in the process of gathering testimony’s from people who were eyewitnesses,” said Michael McDevitt, who is custodian of Cora Evans’ writings. “What it means for our church community is that there is somebody right here in California who lived a life of virtue and sanctity that may one day become a saint.”

Rev. James Bretzke, Professor of Theology at Boston College, said that selection and process is in keeping with the Vatican’s new outlook on saints.

“Since the time of Pope John Paul II, explicitly they have been trying to lift up the lives of ordinary people—lay men and women—and this would be a good exemplar of that,” he said.

The road to sainthood is long and difficult. Bretzke said at least two miracles that defy medical explanation are needed to happen through her intercession.

Currently, there are only twelve Catholic saints from the U.S. but none are from California.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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