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Church probes new Lourdes cure

An almost totally paralysed 60-year-old Italian woman has been instantly cured of her illness in Lourdes in the past week.

"I am overjoyed, most happy, Our Lady of Lourdes has cured me," said Giulia Mongelli Tofani, who prior to her visit was almost completely helpless and had to be spoon fed by her family.

"When I came to Lourdes I was full of anguish, now I feel like a cricket," she said. "I can walk up and down. I climb the stairs, I go up and down now and never stop. I laugh and joke."

Giulia is convinced a miracle has occurred and top Vatican official Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar-general of Rome Diocese who led her party to Lourdes, backed this view when he publicly thanked God and the Virgin Mary for "the gift received by Giulia" on the final evening of her visit.

The woman had been a bartender in Rome for 35 years before contracting a rare viral infection that left her totally paralysed some years ago. As news of Giulia's recovery spread among excited pilgrims, her parish priest Don Canio then accompanied her to the medical bureau at Lourdes, where she was subjected to a three hour examination. The bureau are currently studying her case.

Though Guilia and her friends are convinced as to what has taken place, it is commonly accepted that the Church is very slow to recognise miracles, even at Lourdes. Of the millions of pilgrims who have visited Lourdes in the last 145 years, only around 7000 cases of alleged cures have been examined in depth, and of these just 66 have been officially recognised by the Church as miracles.

The Universe

Diagnosing a miracle -- a long process (UPI)
Pope sends message to Lourdes pilgrims (7/11/01)
Official websites of Lourdes
Our Lady of Lourdes

9 Sep 2003