According to legend, and to Sister Blandina’s journal and letters, one of Billy the Kid’s gang members had been shot and was on the brink of death when the doctors of Trinidad, Colo., refused to treat him. Sister Blandina decided to take him in and cared for him for three months, nursing him back to health.
But the notorious outlaw, born Henry McCarty (1859-1881), was still unhappy. Word got out that Billy the Kid was coming to town to scalp the four doctors of Trinidad in revenge. When he arrived, Sister Blandina intervened and convinced him to call off his vendetta on behalf of the man she had saved.
After that incident, Sister Blandina and Billy the Kid became friends. She once visited him in jail, and he once called off a stage-coach robbery as soon as he realized she was one of the passengers.
When she wasn’t calling off outlaws, Sister Blandina was founding schools, building hospitals, teaching and caring for orphans and the poor and advocating for the rights of American Indians and other minorities. All in a day’s work.Share
Her heroic virtue and enduring works are why her cause for sainthood was opened in New Mexico last summer, earning her the title “Servant of God” and allowing people to ask for her intercession. Since then, several documents have come to light corroborating her stories, and the necessary miracle for the next big step — beatification — seems to be well on its way.
“Sainthood isn’t about an award; it isn’t about honoring; it’s about helping the faithful know that there is a source of God’s grace being worked on earth,” said Allen Sanchez, president and CEO for CHI St. Joseph’s Children in Albuquerque, which Sister Blandina founded. Sanchez also serves as the petitioner for the cause of sister’s sainthood and has studied her life extensively. (Read more.)