Every year Lourdes attracts around 6 million visitors and it’s a safe bet that the majority of those are looking for a miracle. The shrine has become synonymous with healing the sick and curing the otherwise incurable during the pilgrimage season, which lasts from April through October. Although there have been in excess of 7000 claims of unexplained cures, only 69 have officially been recognised as miracles by the Bishops, the most recent being in 2013. Here are 5 incredible cases of divine healing at Lourdes:
Student nurse Jeanne Fretel, arrived in Lourdes in 1948 comatose and suffering with complications from tubercular peritonitis. Following 7 years of treatment for the condition she was left emaciated, dependent on strong doses of morphine and plagued with fever – she was believed to be close to death.
However, upon receiving Holy Communion at the Mass for the Sick, the 31 year old roused from her coma. Almost immediately her pain and fever vanished, with no possible explanation. Jeanne’s miracle was recognized by officials 2 years later in 1950.
In 1963, a young Italian soldier arrived in Lourdes upon being told he was deemed too weak to withstand treatment for cancer. Vittorio Michelli was suffering with osteosarcoma – a form of cancer which ravaged his hip, crumbling the bone. Vittorio had made the pilgrimage with only plaster cast, from his hip to his ankle, holding his pelvis together.
It wasn’t until he returned to hospital after being put in the sacred baths that he began to notice that his pain had subsided. So much so that he no longer needed pain medication! Surprisingly, x-rays showed that the bony tissue in his pelvis had regenerated.
Following decades of suffering with multiple sclerosis, which resulted in being confined to a wheelchair, Jean-Pierre Bely came to Lourdes looking for a miracle. After receiving the Sacrament of the Sick in 1987, the father of two woke after a deep sleep with a shocking discovery – for the first time in 3 years he could walk! His recovery from paralysis has been described as ‘not just unusual but inexplicable.’
Complications from severe meningitis led to Marie Bigot making several pilgrimages to the holy site. Her illness had stolen her sight and hearing, along with her ability to walk. The first visit in 1952 provided no respite from her condition, undeterred, Marie returned a year later. It was then she was amazed to discover that she was able to walk again, so she made the trip again in 1953.
Little did she know she was to be the recipient of yet another miracle. By the end of her time at Lourdes, Marie found her hearing had returned with her vision quickly following suit!
Christmas Eve brought a miracle for 12 year old Delizia Cirolli. After being diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in her right knee, options for treatment were extremely limited. Doctors were intent on amputating the limb but Delizia’s mother refused, opting instead to take her daughter to Lourdes.
Soon after they returned home, Delizia’s tumour began to shrink until it could no longer be detected! Without receiving any kind of chemotherapy, surgery or treatment the young girl had been cleansed of cancer.
Whether you believe in miracles or not, it’s hard to explain just how these people regained their health. With an abundance of testimonies like the ones above and those yet to be discovered, it isn’t difficult to see why Lourdes is the most visited pilgrimage site in the Christian world.