Miracle claimed through intercession of Ven. Pius XII

A tip of the biretta   o{]:¬)   to Sancte Pater for this link to an AP story on WaPo‘s site.

AP Exclusive: Woman claims miracle by WWII-era pope; backed by connected nun amid doubts
By Associated Press, Published: July 3

CASTELLAMMARE DI STABIA, Italy — Maria Esposito was ready to give up. Wasted away at 42 kilos (92 pounds), she couldn’t bear another dose of chemotherapy to fight the Stage IV Burkitt’s lymphoma that had invaded her body while she was pregnant with her second child.

But as she and her family had done since she was diagnosed with the rare and aggressive form of cancer in July 2005, Esposito prayed to the man who had appeared to her husband in a dream as the only person who could save her: Pope Pius XII.

Esposito survived, cured after a single, six-week cycle of chemotherapy — a recovery that, she says, stunned her doctors and convinced her that the World War II-era pope had intervened with God to save her.


The article is longish, but worth your time.

Of course the article goes in a couple predictable directions.  You can guess what they are before you even go to read it.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. RCGuerilla says:

    I pray every day to Ven. Pius XII and offer a bead on my Rosary for his canonization.

  2. mike cliffson says:

    The bump from the sublime to the gorblimey! My blood pressure hasn’t come down yet after passing from the gist of the story to wapo’s evil filth: the sooner the deadtreepress goes under the sooner a good deal more than the world’s forests will benefit, at least the Russians found a fitting use for Pravda as loopaper.
    After a deep breath: Praise God for his mercy to this family and for this indication that this so derided Pope was a good holy man, certainly, – it’s right that a case for canonization be ironclad, if necessary there’ll eventually be more miracles, but this is good enough for me.
    Laus DEO!

  3. trad catholic mom says:

    Quote: After consulting two outside doctors, Cece determined that Esposito could have been cured by even a single cycle of chemo and essentially closed the case.

    While I support the cause for canonization, I’m not sure that this case constitutes the miracle needed as a result of the Drs statements. Their statements are consistent with my own research and personal experience as a lymphoma survivor. Aggressive lymphomas have a higher rate of response to chemo than non aggressive forms, additionally it’s not at all unheard of to have complete or almost complete remission after only one round of chemo with lymphoma. In fact it happened to me. Additionally lymphoma is one of the most curable cancers there are, even at late stages.

  4. Gail F says:

    trad catholic mom: Thanks for your comment, it is very difficult for those of us who are not doctors to know that sort of thing, especially if it seems counter-intuitive (I would have guessed that more aggressive lymphomas were more difficult to treat with chemo than less aggressive ones, so the story sounds more dramatic than it perhaps is). I am glad you, and the lady in the story, are better.

  5. Clinton says:

    God willing, I will live long enough to see both Ven. Pius XII raised to the honors of the
    altar and the Washington Post/ AP go out of business.

  6. jarthurcrank says:

    It seems to me that it would be better to wait for a more certainly miraculous miracle than a dubiously miraculous miracle in the case of Pius XII, since the criticism from the press of ANY beatification is going to uncritically adopt the talking points of the ADL and other Jewish lobby organizations. Frankly, I would rather that the Pope suspend the requirement for a miracle in a case like this, because at least then, the Vatican will be unapologetically closing ranks around Pius XII and against his detractors, which will force the more intellectually honest (and curious) members of the press to explore why we are defending Pius XII the way we do.

  7. digdigby says:

    Pope Benedict would not enter the Holocaust Museum because of the scurrilous and hateful display within smearing this astonishing Pope. The Holy Father spoke outside the museum and didn’t make a big deal out of it.

  8. Can anyone recommend a particular novena prayer to St. Pius XII? Of course, I know I can make up my own, but if there is a good one out there, I might like to use it instead of doing that. I have a close relative who is suffering from a form of cancer considered entirely incurable by medical science barring any discoveries of new cures, and I have thought of picking a saint to make a perpetual novena to for the intention of her cure and of her conversion. Ven. Pius XII might be even better than an already canonised saint! I am terrible at settling for one particular saint or person who have died in the odour of sanctity or one particular prayer to stick with on a daily basis over a long period of time for one particular intention, but I think there is considerable merit to it. The difficulty lies also in sticking to one of so many candidates!

  9. Centristian says:

    The article recounts…

    “Her husband, Umberto di Maio, said the family had been praying to John Paul II, who had died just a few months before, when Esposito was diagnosed in July 2005. But as di Maio recounts it, John Paul appeared to him in a dream one night and said he couldn’t help Esposito but showed a photo of a slim, bespecled [sic] prelate who could.”

    *Sigh* Come, now. The article continues…

    “Dr. Ann S. LaCasce, an assistant professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School’s lymphoma program and affiliated Dana Farber Cancer Institute, said Esposito’s speedy recovery wasn’t all that remarkable.”

    “’Not surprising at all,’ LaCasce said after reviewing the protocol Esposito received. ‘The key is this aggressive, multi-agent chemotherapy regimen that she got. It doesn’t sound like a miracle at all. She did great, as expected.’”

    It would not astonish me to learn that the late Pope Pius XII is a great saint in Heaven. Were he one day to be beatified, it would not seem at all inappropriate to me. In fact, I would have vastly fewer qualms about his beatification than I had about the beatifications of Pope Pius IX, Pope John XXIII, and Pope John Paul II, bless their hearts. In fact, in Pius XII’s case I would have no qualms at all.

    But this isn’t a miracle, apparently, and this story is kooky. Beatify Pius…but not because of this. Beatify him because of the miracle of the beautiful life he lead and the miracle of the glittering papacy he gave to the world. If Pius IX and John XXIII are called blessed, surely we can say at least the same of Pius XII. Surely.

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