Will Another Parkinson's Miracle Clear the Way for Canonization of John Paul II?
centuries of Church history no Pope has beatified his predecessor.
The choice of the Feast of Divine Mercy, May 1, 2011 for the beatification was intentional. Pope John Paul II had a deep devotion to his fellow Pole Sr. Faustina Kowalska and to the Divine Mercy devotion identified with her. In August 2002, in Lagiewniki, Poland where Sr. Faustina lived and died, John Paul II entrusted the entire world "to Divine Mercy, to the unlimited trust in God the Merciful."
The Decree of Beatification noted, "Since the beginning of his pontificate, in 1978, John Paul II often spoke in his homilies of the mercy of God. This became the theme of his second encyclical, Dives in Misericordia, in 1980. He was aware that modern culture and its language do not have a place for mercy, treating it as something strange; they try to inscribe everything in the categories of justice and law. But this does not suffice, for it is not what the reality of God is about."
There is no doubt that we had a saint in our midst. He is still with us in that communion of love which cannot be separated by death. A man so filled with Jesus Christ that, like the Apostle Paul, he no longer lived but "Christ lived in him." (Galatians 2) The sentiment of the faithful expressed on the day on which his body was processed through the streets of Rome, "Santo Subito" still echoes as the Church proceeds with the cause of his canonization.
In an interview with the ZENIT news service in April of 2011, Monsignor Slawomir Oder, the postulator for the cause, was asked whether other miracles were revealed during the process. He replied "There were so many graces and also alleged miracles. Some were examined more in-depth, because this is the practice. Before carrying out a study on a miracle, a prior study is done which in some way guarantees the process itself. In some cases we did further studies and the preliminary statements were good, but we did not continue to study them because the study on the miracle that had been chosen was already under way."
He was asked a follow up question "Can you tell us in what countries these miracles happened?" Monsignor Oder replied "They were verified in France, in the United States, in Germany and in Italy." The postulator expressed what impressed him most about the inquiry into the life and ministry of the late Pope, "The aspect that amazed me, which also happens to be the most important aspect of his life, was the discovery that the source and origin of his extraordinary activity, of his generosity in acting, of the depth of his thought, was his relationship with Christ.
"What came to light was certainly a mystic. A mystic in the sense that he was a man who lived in the presence of God, who let himself be guided by the Holy Spirit, who was in constant dialogue with the Lord, who built his whole life around the question [asked to Peter]: "Do you love me?" His life was the answer to this essential question posed by the Lord. I think this aspect is the greatest treasure of the process."
Now, the testimony of Marco Fidel Rojas has emerged. It has been sent to the Vatican for examination. The former mayor was determined by his Doctors to have Parkinson's in 2005 after suffering a stroke. As the disease worsened he recounted to the Columbian News reporter "I felt like I could collapse at any moment. Various times I fell down outside on the street."
On the evening of Dec. 27, 2010 the former mayor recalled a trip to Rome he had made years earlier where he had met Pope John Paul II. He actually had the joy of speaking with him after Mass. He thought, "I have a friend up there. And he had Parkinson's. Why didn't I pray to him before? Venerable Father John Paul II: come and heal me, put your hands on my head." He testified that he slept without interruption that night, a rare event.
He awakened with no symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Dr. Antonio Schlesinger Piedrahita, a well respected neurologist in Colombia, has certified Fidel's complete freedom from the ravages of Parkinson's disease. Marcos Fidel Rojas enthusiastically affirmed, "Yes, John Paul II gave me the miracle of curing me. My great promise to my healer is to spread devotion to him wherever I can."
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Blessed John Paul II, miracle, Marco Fidel Rojas, canonization, healing, sainthood, Deacon Keith Fournier
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