Skip to content

Doctor Who Analyzes Reported Miracles at Lourdes

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.


Catholic Online CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000



Lourdes, Miracle, Virgin, Mary, Medical

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.