Matt Lamb has been a tutor for 10 years now in subjects including social studies, writing, math and economics. He holds a B.A. in Political Science with minors in Economics and Catholic Studies from Loyola University Chicago. He also has a Master's degree in Political Science from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He has experience in communications, marketing, writing and editing. He lives in the Midwest with his family and enjoys running, reading and his faith life.
A woman with Parkinson's loses the ability to walk - until she starts praying to the deceased Pope John Paul II. Another woman has an incurable brain aneurysm - but after praying to the deceased Pope John Paul II, her symptoms disappear and she is able to resume a normal life.
Do you consider these miracles?
The Catholic Church did, in fact, find these to be miracles: events that occur outside scientific and natural laws, and often attributed to divine intervention. In order to declare someone a saint, the Catholic Church must have proof of miracles. While these miracles do not necessarily have to be performed while the person is alive, they must be attributed to them. We will now look at two miracles attributed to Pope John Paul II.
Healing Of Parkinson's
In 2001, doctors diagnosed Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, a Catholic nun, with Parkinson's, a disease which weakens the nervous system and makes even basic motor skills difficult. In 2005, her condition worsening, Simon-Pierre and her order of nuns began praying to the recently deceased Pope John Paul II for assistance. Two months later, Simon-Pierre was convinced she was healed.
As part of the investigation, the Vatican hired neurologists and doctors to test Simon-Pierre to ensure she was truly cured. The Vatican kept the possibility of this being a miracle under wraps in order to avoid bias, and after two years, testing was completed. The Vatican then concluded that Simon-Pierre's healing was indeed a miracle.
Having one verified miracle, Pope John Paul II was beatified, the first step to being canonized, or declared a saint. When a person is beatified, they are then referred to as blessed; though not all those blessed are later canonized.
Healing Of Brain Aneurysm
In May 2011, Floribeth Diaz was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm which, as she recalls, the doctor said would kill her within a few days. Diaz began praying to the deceased Pope John Paul II, and, according to her own account, she heard the Pope say to her, ''Rise! Don't be afraid.'' Diaz felt better immediately, and several months later, doctors found no residual evidence of the aneurysm in her brain. Not only was she healed, it was as if the aneurysm never happened.
The Vatican confirmed the second miracle, which, along with the many other attributes they consider for sainthood, allowed the Pope to move from blessed to canonization.
Other Aspects of His Legacy
Pope John Paul II left a legacy that includes several important victories and accomplishments. Theologically, he published note-able works on sexual morality, which form the basis for the church's education of teenagers and young adults today. Politically, he helped push for religious freedom in the Soviet Union, and threw the support of the Catholic Church behind anti-Communist movements, including the one led by Lech Walesa in Poland.
In today's lesson, we discussed Pope John Paul II's legacy as a healer through his miracles, and as a thought-leader through his theological and political contributions. The Pope's miracles, both attributed to him after his death, included the curing of a Catholic nun's Parkinson's disease, and the healing of a woman's brain aneurysm. After the first verified miracle, Pope John Paul II was beatified, or blessed, and after the second miracle, he was canonized, or officially declared a saint.
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