Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
20 Oct 2011
On the eve of the first feast day of Blessed John Paul II, the Vatican has indicated an investigation into a second miracle through the late Pope's intercession is underway.
The alleged miracle concerns the healing of a Mexican woman, Sara Guadalupe Fuentes Garcia who was suddenly cured of a life threatening tumour that blocked as much as 80 percent of her throat.
According to the woman who lives in the Yucatan, during the time relics of the late beloved pope were visiting, she had placed a photograph of Bl John Paul II on her chest and throat and prayed for his intercession with God to heal her.
The Vatican reveals that the Most Rev Juan Gomez Parada, Bishop of Yucatan is now investigating the incident and gathering medical documentation and independent testimonies. The extensive paperwork and detailed research he gathers from independent doctors and scientists will then be submitted to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome.
If on further study and investigation, the miracle is recognised and approved by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the verifying documents will be presented to the Holy Father, at which point an announcement of the canonisation of Bl John Paul II can be expected.
The late and much loved Pope who died in April 2005 was beatified on 1 May this year. Shortly before the beatification in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI announced his predecessor's liturgical feast day would be celebrated each year on 22 October.
The Holy Father said the liturgical feast day of Bl John Paul II would be commemorated in Rome where he had served as Pontiff for more than a quarter of century, and in the late pope's native Poland. Whether the day would be marked by Catholic archdioceses and dioceses across the world, Pope Benedict XVI left up to each nation's congregation of bishops. But such is the esteem and love felt for Bl John Paul II, and his ongoing inspiration to Catholics everywhere, that his liturgical feast day is expected to be celebrated not only in his country of birth and Rome but worldwide.
The date for Bl John Paul II's feast day, unlike most of those who have been beatified or sanctified, does not commemorate the day of his death. Instead the day chosen by Pope Benedict XVI celebrates and memorialises John Paul II's inauguration as Pope on 22 October 1978.
Monsignor Slawomir Oder, who is Postulator for the Cause of Bl John Paul II, has revealed that since the beatification in May this year, he has been dealing with "many graces and many alleged miracles" from a number of different countries including France, the United States, Germany and Italy.
The first miracle recognised and approved by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints as a result of Bl John Paul II's intercession, involved Sister Marie Pierre Simon, a French nun, who was cured of Parkinson's disease, a disease that took the late Pontiff's own life. The confirmation of this miracle led to his beatification on 1 May this year and once a second miracle confirmed and approved by the Congregation, the canonisation of Bl Pope John II seems assured.
However, although the secular world focuses on miracles in the lead up to most canonisations, for the Catholic Church these are not of prime importance. Instead what is essential for canonisation is the holiness of the person and his or her closeness to God.
"The aspect that has amazed me, which also happens to be the most important aspect of his life was the discovery that the source and origin of his extraordinary activity, of his generosity in acting, of the depth of his thought, was his relationship with Christ," says Monsignor Oder, Postulator for the Cause. "What came to light was certainly a mystic. A mystic in the sense that he was a man who lived in the presence of God, who let himself be guided by the Holy Spirit, who was in constant dialogue with the Lord, and who built his whole life around the question asked to Peter: 'Do you love me?' His life was the answer to this essential question posed b y the Lord. And I think this aspect is the greatest treasure of the process."