'Miracle nun' works in Paris maternity clinic

29th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 29, 2007 (AFP) - A French nun at the centre of the Vatican case for beatifying pope John Paul II, works in a Paris maternity clinic, a spokesman for the facility said Thursday.

PARIS, March 29, 2007 (AFP) - A French nun at the centre of the Vatican case for beatifying pope John Paul II, works in a Paris maternity clinic, a spokesman for the facility said Thursday.

Sister Marie-Simon-Pierre, 45, a member of the Congregation of Little Nuns of Catholic Maternity Wards from Puyricard, near the southern city of Aix-en-Provence, has been working at the Sainte-Felicite clinic since late 2006.

The nun's testimony of being miraculously cured of Parkinson's disease after praying to John Paul II is a key part of the dossier put together on the beatification of the late pontiff, which would put him on the first step to sainthood.

The identity of the nun who had written to the Vatican with the account of her "miracle" cure was to have been revealed on Sunday by Aix-en-Provence Archbishop Claude Feidt.

She is to give a news conference at 10:30 am (0830 GMT) on Friday in Aix-en-Provence, the diocese said in a statement.

A spokesman reached by telephone at the Sainte-Felicite clinic in south-central Paris confirmed that Sister Marie-Simon-Pierre worked as a nurse at the maternity ward.

The French daily Le Figaro, who spoke to some clinic co-workers, described her as a "dynamic and discreet little nun".

The newspaper quoted excerpts of her testimony in which she described how in April 2005, her health had deteriorated, and she was being "ravaged by the disease week after week. I felt myself weakening day after day and I could not write... or if I did, it was barely legible."

After the death of John Paul II that same month, her congregation began to pray to the late pope to intercede on behalf of Sister Marie-Simon-Pierre.

In June, she asked to be relieved of her duties but was told by her mother superior to stay the course and to write a letter to John Paul II, who also suffered from Parkinson's disease, a degenerative disorder with no known cure.

Later that evening, Sister Marie-Simon-Pierre retired to her room and said she "felt compelled to write as if someone were telling me 'pick up your pen and write'".

"The writing was clearly legible," she said. That night, she recalled waking up "stunned that I had been able to sleep. My body was no longer in pain."

The nun attended mass that morning and said that after emerging from church: "I was convinced that I was cured".

She stopped treatment and on June 7, a neurologist who had been treating her for the past four years told her that "all indications" of the disease had disappeared.

At the end of 2006, she left Puyricard for Paris where she joined the team of nurses at Sainte-Felicite clinic.

Convincing evidence of a miracle -- usually a medical cure with no scientific explanation -- is essential in the beatification process.

The Rome diocese's website carries dozens of testimonials from individuals claiming cures at the hands of the pope, but to qualify as a miracle the recovery must be sudden, complete and permanent -- as well as inexplicable by doctors.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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