Possible miracle at tomb of John Paul II

From The Mail:

Wheelchair-boy ‘miraculously walks again’ at memorial visit to tomb of Pope John Paul II

By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 11:25 PM on 02nd April 2009

A child crippled by a kidney tumour was able to walk again after praying at the tomb of Pope John Paul II on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the late pontiff’s death, it was claimed last night.

The nine-year-old Polish boy was brought to St Peter’s Basilica on a pilgrimage to the grave of the Polish pope who died on April 2 2005.

Last night Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, the former private secretary of Pope John Paul, said that after praying at the tomb in the crypt of the Rome basilica he ‘suddenly’ started walking again.

‘He was brought in a wheelchair because he wasn’t able to walk,’ the cardinal said. As soon as the boy emerged from the basilica, he told his parents: ”I want to walk.’ He got up and started walking, healthy,’ the prelate said.

He said the boy is from Gdansk, the Polish seaport known as the birthplace of the Solidarity movement which helped bring down decades of Communist rule in John Paul’s homeland in the late 1980s.

If investigations reveal that there are no scientific explanations for the child’s recovery, the healing may be put forward as the miracle needed to declare John Paul II ‘blessed’. A second miracle will be required to declare him a saint.  [After beatification…]

Only a month after John Paul’s death in 2005, Benedict put him on the fast track for sainthood by waiving the usual five years before a person’s life and works can be examined. Vatican officials say the process is taking its course, and the required miracle has been identified for examination.

One possible miracle involves the curing of a French nun with Parkinson’s disease.

Cardinal Dziwisz said ‘there is always hope’ that John Paul II will be announced a saint before the fifth anniversary of his death. But in an interview with Polish TVN24 television, he said the process must go though all necessary stages ‘so there can be no doubt.‘  [Well… there must be a moral certitude, not "no doubt".]

The cardinal – who now heads John Paul’s old diocese of Krakow, Poland – indicated there was no shortage of potential cases of possible miracles to investigate.

The head of the Vatican’s saint-making office, Archbishop Angelo Amato, said the process already got a boost when Benedict waived the five-year waiting period.

In an interview with Vatican Radio, he said the process must actually be more rigorous and thorough for a pope like John Paul since he was so well-known.

‘Promptness doesn’t mean speed or superficiality; on the contrary this requires care and professionalism,’ Amato said.

The parliament in Poland, the pope’s homeland, observed a minute of silence yesterday to mark the anniversary. Masses and prayers were also being held across Poland.

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  1. YoungCatholicSTL says:

    Fr. Z,

    Is a beatification considered an infalliable statement made by the pope? A seminarian friend of mine and I were discussing this a few nights ago and after several minutes of discussion, we both agreed that we were uncertain of the answer.

  2. J. Basil Damukaitis says:

    declaration of canonization does.

  3. The CDF’s doctrinal commentary on the Professio Fidei includes the canonization of saints as truths taught de fide tenenda, requiring that the truth that a canonized saint is in Heaven be given “firm and definitive assent based on faith in the Holy Spirit’s assistance to the Church’s Magisterium, and on the Catholic doctrine of the infallibility of the Magisterium in these matters.”

  4. LCB says:

    Yes; provided it occurred in the post Congregation era, and not from the era when the saint was declared by public acclamation.

  5. What is the record for the shortest time from death to canonization (during the Congregation era)?

  6. surge says:

    At what stage in the process might a Pope be declared Venerable?

  7. PMcGrath says:

    Request for clarification:

    Was Cardinal Dziwisz visiting the tomb at the same time as the boy got up — in other words, was he an eyewitness to the miracle — or was he reporting what the parents (or other eyewitnesses) told him?

    It seemed a bit unclear from the report above.

  8. surge: That would require that the Congregation give a decree super virtutibus that Servant of God John Paul II lived a life of “heroic virtues”, and that that decree by accepted by the Holy Father. When promulgated as such he would then be called “Venerable”.

  9. Jenny Z says:

    Father Z: Thanks for posting this, please keep us updated on this case. I’m very curious to know how it turns out.

  10. Mark says:

    One more link – this one is from the venerable Tygodnik Powszechny (Universal Weekly), Cardinal Wojtyla’s old journalistic friend and recipient of his protection. Ten historic pictures from the times before he became Pope John Paul II:


    Truly a walk down the memory lane.

  11. Jane says:

    It is wonderful that the boy was healed. I hope that the necessary miracle for beatification will be approved soon and the process for canonisation will move forward for JPII

  12. Dominic says:

    But, I thought that the formal object of canonization was to hold a person’s life up as a model of virtue. How is that compatible with Assisi 1986 and other like excesses of “ecumenism”?

  13. Dominic,

    You may not agree with all that happened at the World Day of Prayer in 1986, but if you read the speech which HH John Paul gave at the event it is very clear that his intentions with it was purely and simply to give witness to Jesus Christ to people from all religious backgrounds. The speech is very Christ-centred and offers Christ to the whole world as the only one who can truly bring peace to mankind.

    My impression of John Paul is that he had very high, almost eclectic, theological ideals which were Catholic through and through but which were often misapprehended by both ‘left’ and ‘right’ in the Church. He probably thought in a manner too abstract for most others to understand, and perhaps even too abstract for him himself to see how his thinking should best be implemented ‘on the ground’, so to speak. He was not a very practical man, and this meant that his ideas, however good they were in theory, were very open to abuse – even, albeit unintentionally, by himself. The World Day of Prayer is a good example of something which, though fine in theory, was implemented in such a way as to be sure to send any number of wrong messages.

    I’d say that John Paul probably did not score well on the virtue of prudence. But there are other virtues besides that.

  14. Ricky Vines says:

    Dominic: I agree how JPII’s vision can be misunderstood. Re: praying with other faiths, he might offended traditionalists, but he has edified multitudes of non-Christians. Also, consider that the church in his world-view expands far beyond the institutional model per Lumen Gentium. So based on that, I’d reconsider his lack of prudence. He was ahead of his time and spoke to people in the future.

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