Deo Gratias! Pope Benedict announces beatification of John Paul the Great

The Catholic Herald has just posted the wonderful news that Pope Benedict XVI has issuedthe decree recognising the miraculous healing of Sister Marie Simon-Pierre of Aix-en-Provence through the intercession of Pope John Paul the Great.

The Catholic Herald speculates that the decree paves the way for the beatification on May 1, though it could also be held in Rome on ‘May 18, Pope John Paul’s birthday, and October 16, when he was elected to the papacy.’

Sister Marie Simon-Pierre was diagnosed with aggressive Parkinson’s in 2001 and had to quit her job at a maternity ward in Arles, Provence.

Here is an account of Sister Marie Simon-Pierre’s healing in her own words:

On June 2 2005, two months after the pontiff’s death, Marie-Simon-Pierre accepted her condition was so bad that she would have to resign from work. It was a difficult decision, being from a deeply observant Catholic family of five in northern France she had always felt a calling to serve in maternity. Her superior told her not to give up hope. “She asked me to write Jean Paul II on a piece of paper to give me strength. I didn’t want to write in front of anyone because I had such difficulties, and if someone was watching me, it would be even harder. But I wrote Jean Paul II. It was almost illegible.” Later the nun was “seized by a need to write”. It was such an unusual urge that she couldn’t even find a pen to hand. She wrote a few lines. “I looked at my writing and thought that’s funny, your writing is very readable.”

In the morning she was aware of a lack of the usual stiffness and pain. She said she felt an “inner strength”. She went to the chapel at 4am, with none of her usual difficulty walking. “I realised that my body was no longer the same. I was convinced that I was cured.

“I went to a sister and showed her my hand. It wasn’t shaking. I said John Paul has healed me. She looked at me wide-eyed and we stood in silence.”

That day, she was able to work on the maternity ward, assisting a caesarean and registering the baby’s birth in her own hand-writing. She stopped taking her daily medication. Five days later her neurologist was stunned by her agility in strolling into his office. He asked her if she had doubled her medication’

Since 2005, the Catholic church has kept the case quiet, conducting a secret investigation in which it has interviewed around 15 witnesses, including neurologists, university medical professors, a psychiatrist and a hand-writing analyst.

Protect the Pope comment: I can’t begin to put into words the joy and excitement I feel on hearing the news that Pope John Paul the Great is to be beatified. He truly deserves to be placed among the great popes of history, Pope St Gregory the Great and Pope St Leo the Great.

Protect the Pope encourages Catholics to use ‘John Paul the Great’ when they refer to the great man so that one day, through recognition of popular acclaim among Catholics, the Church adds this title to his name.

On a personal note, Pope John Paul is the daily inspiration of my work in service of the Church and on this website. He is an inspiration of indefatigable perseverance and hope no matter the degree of personal hardship and suffering.  Gaudium et Spes 22, John Paul II’s favourite passage of Vatican II, is the compass point of our lives as Catholics, ‘it is only in the Mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear.’

The marvellous painting of Pope John Paul II is by James Gillick

6 comments to Deo Gratias! Pope Benedict announces beatification of John Paul the Great

  • Karla

    Great news! God Bless

  • Dan

    OMG!!! This is going to be Huge! Millions will come to Rome! The focus on him over the coming months (and years when he becomes a saint), will, I’m sure of it, lead to more priestly vocations and even, perhaps, ex Catholic’s coming home again. More Anglicans may be prompted to “Cross the Tiber”! This, I think, will be a moment of profound grace for the entire Church around the World!

    (I have goosebumps as I write this!)

  • Serge

    John Paul the Great is the spark of my conversion back to the Catholic Church, as I saw him on television in 1984 when he came in Montreal, a living Apostle, and I realized that the Church was still as living as it was in its beginnings. All of a sudden the Church was not a “thing of the past” but a living reality of today.

    Deo Gratias!

  • fd

    Great news! It’s on the front pages of the Italian papers today.
    Thankyou for the painting !

  • fd

    According to RAI never had a Beatification process taken so little time to be concluded.

  • SpeSalvi23

    A very holy man. It’s great news!!

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