Beatification Of Pope John Paul II Underway

A solemn ceremony in Rome on April 2nd will mark the first step in the process of John Paul II’s beatification. On that day the Rome Vicariate – the city where the Pope died and therefore where the cause was initiated – will close the diocesan phase of the process, which opened on May 13th 2005, and the paperwork will pass into the hands of the Vatican Congregation for the cause of the saints. The process will follow the normal itinerary and will not aim for the immediate canonization of John Paul II, contrary to the hopes expressed by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, former secretary to the late Pope.

This was clarified by Msgr. Slawomir Oder, postulator for the cause, during a brief meeting with journalists. He said “Card. Dziwisz naturally expressed his personal conviction and deep desire which is also shared by many of God’s people. My hope – he added – is the same, however as an officer of justice I must add that the precepts of Canon Law must be respected and that Church procedure must be followed”. Msgr. Oder added that “besides the Papal dispensation for the 5 year period of waiting from the death of John Paul II, there have been no other dispensations; all canonical norms have been observed as with all other causes".

It was also confirmed that sr. Marie-Simon-Pierre, the French nun who attests she was miraculously cured through Pope Wojtyla’s intercession, will be present at the April 2nd ceremony. During a press conference held yesterday in Aix-en-Provence she declared “I had Parkinson’s disease, diagnosed in June 2001”. “By Easter 2005 my symptoms had worsened: I shook terribly, my limbs were rigid and I suffered great pain and insomnia”, but “I wanted to see the Pope on television, because I felt that he was near to his end and that it would be that last time, I so admired his courage and his strength while I found it hard to fight this disease being so young”. At the time she was only 44 years old.

Her illness progressed. “By the first of June – she continued – I could no longer stand, my mother superior encouraged me, asking me to await her return from Lourdes, because she said, ‘John Paul II has yet to complete his work’”. So the Superior “asked me to write his name on a piece of paper. It was five in the afternoon, I wrote it with great difficulty and it was almost illegible”. “At about nine o’ clock that evening, I felt a great need to write, I heard a voice as if someone was telling me to “take pen o paper’; it was about 21,45, exactly two months since John Paul II had returned to the home of the Father. I wrote a little more, with great difficulty and then I went to bed. I awoke then at about 4.30 in the morning, shocked by the fact that I had been able to sleep and immediately I jumped from the bed, because my body was no longer rigid or in pain, it was no longer the same. I felt a call rise up from within me and a strong desire to pray before the Blessed Sacrament, I went to the chapel and stayed there in adoration with a profound sense of peace and well being. It was an experience of such magnitude that it is very difficult to put it into words”.

On June 3rd, “my left hand no longer shook, I could write again and I stopped taking medicine”. June 7th the neurologist, who had been treating me for over 4 years, noted the sudden disappearance of all my symptoms, despite the fact that I had stopped taking treatment 5 days before. “Since then I have not taken any medicine, I am well, I feel as if I have been reborn”. The sister has returned to her work as a nurse in the maternity ward of Sainte-Felicité hospital.

The French Nun’s story is one of the “many” cases of miraculous events that have been reported to Msgr. Oder. Many regarding couplet who after years of sterility finally receive the gift of a child, or difficult pregnancies brought to term as well as many cases of cued tumours. Msgr. Oder clarified that he has not chosen miracles from this area because “the Congregation for the cause of Saints is very strict in its evaluation of cures from cancer and that would have required a period of investigation that may have lasted between 8 and 10 years”.

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