French nun says John Paul II miracle is a "great mystery"

17th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

The French nun whose miraculous cure of Parkinson's disease through the intercession of late Pope John Paul II put him on the path to sainthood, said Monday that the phenomenon remained a "great mystery."

"Why me? It remains a great mystery. There are, without a doubt, people, children who are more sick than myself. I can't answer you. We are in the hands of life. There were the prayers of all" fellow nuns, Marie Simon-Pierre told reporters at the archdiocese of Aix-en-Provence in southern France.

"My family...everyone, my brothers and sisters, my nephews and nieces are convinced I was healed. They were already very overwhelmed at the time, and now very, very moved," she told added.

Simon-Pierre was diagnosed with the degenerative Parkinson's disease in 2001. After John Paul II's death, who also suffered from Parkinson's, her condition quickly deteriorated, and her community began praying for the late pope's intercession to cure her.

The 49-year old recovered overnight in June 2005, two months after the pope's death, an event that doctors could not explain.

"On June 7 I met with my neurologist and when he saw my way of moving, he asked me if I had doubled my dosage of dopamine. I told him, 'No, I stopped everything'," she recalled.

When he examined her he found no signs of the sickness, she said, adding: "For me it was a new birth, I feel like I'm alive again."

The current Pope Benedict XVI last week said the Vatican will beatify his Polish-born predecessor on May 1 in the preliminary step to canonisation.

One miracle is required for beatification and a second one is needed for sainthood.

The process of validating his second miracle cannot begin before John Paul II is beatified. But speculation over which marvel will be chosen has already begun.

In April 2009, sources in Poland and in the United States spoke of two possibilities, involving a wheelchair-bound Polish boy who walked after praying at John Paul II's tomb and an American who recovered from a serious head wound after he was given a rosary blessed by the pope.

The process of canonising John Paul kicked off immediately after his death, with mourners waving banners in St Peter's Square during his funeral in 2005 that read "Santo Subito!" (Sainthood Now!)

© 2011 AFP

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