Father R. P. Pytel, 56; His Recovery Was Deemed a Miracle

From Staff and Wire Reports

Father Ronald P. Pytel, 56, a pastor of Holy Rosary Roman Catholic Church in Southeast Baltimore whose recovery from a life-threatening heart condition was declared a miracle by Vatican authorities four years ago, died of kidney cancer Monday at a home he had restored in Middle Way, W.Va.

Diagnosed with a degenerative aortic valve and congestive heart failure in the mid-1990s, Pytel underwent surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital and recovered -- all while praying to Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun who recently had been beatified.

The Holy See determined Pytel's case to be a miracle, and it was used to further the nun's canonization as a saint in 2000.

A Baltimore native, Pytel earned a theology degree from St. Mary's Seminary and studied at the North American College in Rome before his ordination as a priest in 1973.

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