Audrey Marie Santo was born in Worcester, Massachusetts on December 19, 1983. On August 9, 1987 when she was three years old, she fell into the family swimming pool and nearly drowned. She was rushed to a nearby hospital where she was stabilized and then taken to U-Mass Medical Center where she was accidentally overmedicated Phenobarbital. The overdose caused her to lapse into a coma-like state called Akinetic Mutism, which meant that she had very limited body movement. Medical professionals told the family that they needed to place her in an institution where she could live out the remaining days of her life. Her mother’s faith-filled response to them was simply: "I shall place her in my arms." They predicted that "she would not live more than two weeks". Thus began a labor of love which lasted for twenty years.
Audrey came home from the hospital in November 1987, four months after her accident. Her family immediately set about working around the clock with relatives and medical staff keeping close watch that all of Audrey’s needs were met and that she receive only the very best of care. There was such a tremendous outpouring of love from all those around Little Audrey that it was no wonder that God chose to dispense His special blessings upon her family and anyone else who came in contact with her.
After an outpouring of prayer, Audrey's mother Linda made arrangements to bring her daughter to Medjugorje. Taken on a special stretcher with oxygen tank and other life support equipment, Audrey was brought to the apparition site of Our Lady, in Medjugorje. During the apparition Audrey appeared lively shaking her head yes, then fell into cardiac arrest and almost died.
Miracles began to happen, statues of the Virgin Mary began to weep tears of blood, oil began to exude from statues and holy Images and many people were even healed of their illnesses. On five different occasions, while the Holy Mass was being celebrated in Audrey’s home, many people witnessed the Host in the celebrant’s hands beginning to bleed. Audrey was unable to swallow because of her condition and was being fed via feeding tubes, it is remarkable that on the day of her First Holy Communion and every day after that, she was able to receive Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist without any difficulty. It was also during Bishop Flanagan’s Mass in Audrey’s home that the first Eucharistic Miracle of the bleeding Host took place.
Audrey’s family had been given permission to have the Blessed Sacrament in a Tabernacle in her room, thus she was in the continuous presence of Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. But, of all these phenomena, by far the most wonderful of all was that hearts were changed and conversions began taking place. Little Audrey had clearly become one of God’s special instruments and her mission seemed to be two-fold: to bring souls to Jesus and to be a statement of life in a culture of death.
In an interview for the 1997 video The Story of Little Audrey Santo: The Victim Soul Who Is Bringing People to Jesus, Linda Santo tells how, when she was visited by a woman with ovarian cancer, Audrey manifested symptoms of the illness; X-rays of Audrey's ovaries, her mother says, showed not a tumor but "a little angel." Another time, Audrey developed a vivid crimson rash; the family says she was taking on the side effects of chemotherapy for a visiting cancer patient. Audrey also has developed stigmata, in which the five wounds of the crucified Christ spontaneously appear on the body.
Little Audrey died on April 14, 2007. On September 11, 2008, Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, Bishop of the Diocese of Worcester, MA, recognized the Foundation for the Promotion of the cause of the beatification and canonization of Audrey Marie Santo. Watch/view EWTN video about these events.
Learn more about God's Little Angel Audrey at The Little Audrey Santo Foundation.
Little Audrey Santo, pray for us!