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Process of sainthood starts for Canton woman who owned ‘miracle house’

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CANTON, Ohio-- People from around the world have been flocking to a small Canton home in hopes of being healed. 

Many later claimed that they were miraculously cured.

Now, the home's previous owner is officially being considered for sainthood by the Roman Catholic Church, an extremely rare situation especially in Canton, Ohio.

“This is so unique,” said Fr. Edward Beneleit, “You know, you don’t have masses or beginnings of the canonization process very often.”

Her name is Rhoda Wise and in 1939, she was living in a three-room “depression shack” in Canton with her husband and adopted daughter.

Doctors sent her home to die after infections spread following the removal of a 39-pound tumor.

“She prayed a lot because that’s all she could do,” said Karen Sigler, director of the 501C3 nonprofit home. 

Rhoda’s prayers were answered. Sigler said Jesus and St. Therese visited the house and cured her abdomen and an injured foot. But then the woman of faith developed stigmata. 

“She bled profusely,” Sigler said.

The spontaneous bleeding on Rhoda’s body corresponding with Jesus’s crucifixion wounds finally stopped after two years. Sigler said the heavenly visits continued up until her death in 1948.

Since then, miraculous healings have been reported by countless people visiting the home and those who have received blessed water from the house.

In recent years, the Diocese of Youngstown began investigating the claims. Rhoda was already declared a “Servant of God,” but Friday, the formal process to possible canonization moves forward.

A special mass for the”Opening of the Cause of Beatification and Canonization for Rhoda Wise” will be held at 7 p.m. at St. Peter Catholic Church, 726 Cleveland Ave. NW in Canton, Ohio.

The final determination could take decades, but Sigler and others said it’s a blessing to see Rhoda being honored for having such extraordinary faith.

More stories on the "miracle house" here

St. Peter Catholic Church