Skip to main content


Doctor Who Analyzes Reported Miracles at Lourdes

8/23/2004 - 3:00 AM PST

Advertisment

Interview With Patrick Theillier, Director of Shrine's Medical Office

LOURDES, France, AUG. 23, 2004 (Zenit) - When patients attribute their seemingly miraculous cures to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Dr. Patrick Theillier steps in.

Theillier has the task of examining such claims of miraculous cures. The physician, a father of six and grandfather of 13, spoke of his work in this interview, published amid the media coverage of John Paul II's recent visit to the shrine.

Q: What does your work entail?

Theillier: As director of the Lourdes Medical Office, I am the only permanent doctor at the shrine. I am responsible for health care during the time of pilgrimages. I am also responsible for receiving the doctors who come here and for facilitating their work. Together with them, we ensure health care and recommend patients to the hospital's emergency services.

I am also president of the Lourdes International Medical Association, made up of patients, doctors and health care professionals. Dentists, pharmacists, etc., come to register in this association. Its participants carry out a comparative study of cases of healing, without considering people's beliefs.

Q: What do you do with those you think have experienced a miracle?

Theillier: I have an unusual role for a doctor, as I look after persons who have been cured.

I have been entrusted by the bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes with examining people who think they have benefited from the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Obviously, I don't analyze miracles attributed to the intercession of other saints, which are examined in Rome. Lourdes is the only place, outside of the Vatican, with a medical office in which inexplicable cures are examined.

It is not indispensable to have come on pilgrimage [to the shrine]: Of the 66 cases of recognized miraculous cures, three have never been to Lourdes, but prayed to Our Lady of Lourdes. In the case of half of those who have experienced a miracle, Lourdes water has played a part in their cure.

Q: How do you verify a miracle?

Theillier: The Lourdes International Medical Committee [CMIL], a consultation committee made up of some 20 permanent members, doctors from hospitals all over Europe, meets once a year to examine the more serious dossiers.

Of some 50 cases reported every year, about five are studying at length. The members of CMIL do the work of experts, which consists of analyzing the information contained in the dossiers.

The scientific aspect must be distinguished from the spiritual. The cure must exceed the known laws of the illness' evolution, and the person who has experienced the miracle must also recognize the spiritual meaning of the event.

For the cure to be recognized as a miracle, it must fulfill seven criteria. It is necessary to verify the illness, which must be serious, with an irrevocable prognosis. The illness must be organic or caused by injuries. There must be no treatment at the root of the cure. The latter must be sudden and instantaneous.

Finally, the renewal of functions must be total and lasting, without convalescence.

For this reason, the recognition of a miracle takes several years. Once we have recognized it, the cure is published by the bishop of the diocese where the person resides who experienced the miracle.

Contact

Catholic Online
http://www.catholic.org  CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000

Email

info@yourcatholicvoice.org

Keywords

Lourdes, Miracle, Virgin, Mary, Medical

Rate This Article

Very Helpful Somewhat Helpful Not Helpful at All

Yes, I am Interested No, I am not Interested

Rate Article

0 Comments

Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment


Newsletter Sign Up

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 55:6-9
Seek out Yahweh while he is still to be found, call to him ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18
Day after day I shall bless you, I shall praise your name for ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:1-16
'Now the kingdom of Heaven is like a landowner going out at ... Read More

Reading 2, Philippians 1:20-24, 27
all in accordance with my most confident hope and trust that I ... Read More

Saint of the Day

September 21 Saint of the Day

St. Matthew
September 21: St. Matthew, one of the twelve Apostles, is the author of the ... Read More