Wojtyla for Saint: A miracle has been presented

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has received the dossier on a case of miraculous healing attributed to the Pope. The documentation is now in the hands of the medical commission

There is a presumed miracle that has been attributed to the intercession of John Paul II. The Postulator of the Cause, Mgr. Slawomir Oder presented this inexplicable case of healing to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints headed by Cardinal Angelo Amato, a month ago. The dossier is now in the hands of the medical commission. It all took place in the utmost secrecy and confidentiality. But Amato himself and the Archbishop of Cracow, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz – who had been Pope Wojtyla’s personal secretary and a big promoter of his canonization – had already discussed this three weeks ago. The Polish pope’s “inner circle” therefore hoped Wojtyla would receive the title of Saint by 2013.

A reliable source has confirmed to Vatican Insider that a step forward has been made, even if the alleged healing has not yet been examined by the Congregation’s medical commission, headed by Dr. Patrizio Polisca, Benedict XVI’s personal doctor. As is known, in order for a beatification to take place, the Catholic Church needs to guarantee and recognise a miracle attributed to the intercession of the candidate for sainthood and this miracle needs to have occurred after the death of the person who performed it. A second miracle needs to be confirmed in order to move from beatification to the final step in the canonization process. Canonization is an act proclaimed by the Pope, it implies infallibility and renders devotion to a saint universal. In order for an individual to be canonized they need to perform a second miracle after their beatification. In Wojtyla’s case, this happened after the ceremony on 1 May 2011 in the presence of a huge crowd.

It is now up to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to assess the case and  decide whether the case presented has the necessary attributes for the medical commission – composed of various specialists called to give their thoughts on the scientific inexplicability of the healing – to approve it. Wojtyla was beatified for having healed a French nun, Sister Simon Pierre, who worked in a hospital’s maternity ward, from Parkinson’s disease. She had the same syndrome as John Paul II. The sisters prayed for the Pope when he passed away. And Sister Marie Simon Pierre was suddenly cured. The procedure for the recognition of this case of healing was not at all easy because it is difficult to give a precise diagnosis of certain neurological illnesses. Not all the doctors consulted gave their approval even though the Congregation’s final assessment was positive.

Could Benedict XVI’s shock resignation slow down Pope Wojtyla’s canonization process? In theory not, because the Congregation for the Causes of Saints will continue its work as normal until 28 February. But the Conclave and the first steps taken by the new Pope could justify any delay there may be to the dates expected by the Polish Pope’s entourage. What is certain is that the late Pope is a step closer to sainthood. But it is not possible to predict the exact time frame for the process yet and we still have to wait for the doctors in the “saint factory” to make their assessment and pass the dossier on to the theologians and cardinals.


Article taken from Vatican Insider