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Catholic World News News Feature

Miracle attributed to John Paul II involved Parkinson's disease January 30, 2006

The inexplicable cure of a French nun who was suffering from Parkinson's disease could furnish the miracle required for the beatification of Pope John Paul II.

Msgr. Slawomir Oder, the postulator for the beatification cause of the late Pontiff, told an Italian broadcast audience that a formal investigation is "imminent" into the case of a nun who was working in a maternity ward in France. Msgr. Oder said that he could not yet reveal details of the case, but allowed that it involved "a disease that was quite visible in the last part of the life of John Paul II." The late Pontiff suffered for years with Parkinson's disease, and the progress of that degenerative ailment was widely noted by Vatican-watchers during the Pope's public appearances.

Last December, Msgr. Oder told the Roman news agency I Media that the secrecy surrounding the case-- which he took care to describe as a "presumed" miracle-- was intended to avoid putting pressure on the witnesses. Details of the nun's medical history were, at that time, being relayed to doctors who would be asked to certify that there is no natural explanation for the cure.

The elderly French nun, who had been incapacitated by the disease and was confined to her bed, experienced a complete and lasting cure after members of her community prayed for the intercession of Pope John Paul II. The reported miracle occurred shortly after the late Pontiff's death last April 2.

Last November, in commenting on the progress of the cause for Pope John Paul's beatifiction, his former secretary, Archbishop Stanislas Dziwisz, said that there would be no problem finding a miracle to advance the cause-- or rather, that the problem would be to select one miracle from among the many reported.

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