Italian woman healed at Lourdes
The Catholic Church has officially recognised the 'miraculous' cure of an Italian woman who visited Lourdes more than 50 years ago when she was suffering from a lethal form of rheumatic heart disease.
The Italian ANSA news agency reports that Anna Santaniello, who is now 94 and lives in southern Italy, says her illness disappeared during a pilgrimage to the French shrine in 1952.
The international Catholic committee which runs the shrine has now acknowledged the 'miracle', making Santaniello the 67th person to have officially been healed at Lourdes.
Archbishop of Salerno Gerardo Pierro announced the Church's decision on Sunday at a special mass attended by Santaniello. After the ceremony, Santaniello talked to the Italian press about her experience.
She told the daily Il Giornale that she was diagnosed with a diseased heart when she was a child and that the same illness had killed one of her brothers and a sister.
"My condition got worse as I got older and after a while I was confined to bed, barely able to breathe. The doctors had lost all hope for me," she said.
She said her case had already been declared an "extraordinary healing" by the Church in 1964. Lourdes, a small town in the French Pyrenees, became a shrine in 1858 after a 14-year-old peasant girl, Bernadette Soubirous, said the Virgin Mary appeared to her there a number of times and showed her a hidden healing spring.
Italian woman healed at Lourdes (ANSA 14/11/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Official Website of Lourdes
Priest offers $5000 to disprove miracles of Lourdes (CathNews 30/8/04)
Stronger Pope thanks God for Lourdes pilgrimage (CathNews 19/8/05)
15 Nov 2005