As the Catholic Church celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, a French bishop announced the 70th officially recognised miraculous cure of a pilgrim to the Lourdes grotto where Mary appeared 160 years ago.
Bishop Jacques Benoit-Gonnin of Beauvais formally declared on 11th February “the prodigious, miraculous character” of the healing of Sr Bernadette Moriau, a French member of the Franciscan Oblates of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who had been partially paralysed for more than 20 years despite repeated surgeries to relieve pressure on the nerve roots of her lower back.
In November 2016, the International Medical Committee of Lourdes confirmed the nun’s “unexplained healing, in the current state of scientific knowledge.” But it is up to the bishop, not the physicians, to declare a healing miraculous.
Lourdes, close to the Pyrenees in southern France, attracts millions of visitors each year and has been a place of pilgrimage since St Bernadette Soubirous reported the first of 18 visions of the Virgin Mary while gathering firewood in February 1858.
Picture: In this 2010 file photo, pilgrims visit the grotto where Mary appeared in Lourdes, France. (CNS photo/Jose Navarro, EPA).