A French nun says she felt new inner strength and vitality as her Parkinson’s disease suddenly disappeared in 2005 – a recovery the Vatican attributes to the miraculous intercession of Pope John Paul II.
Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, who works at a Paris maternity clinic, told reporters in a rare appearance yesterday that she felt “reborn” on waking June 3, 2005 after she had prayed for healing to John Paul.
“There was a new strength inside me, and my body was rediscovering its vitality and fluidity,” Simon-Pierre, appearing in good health, told reporters in the southern French city of Aix-en-Provence.
The 49-year-old nun – who has largely been shielded from the media – said she still sometimes talks to John Paul.
“For this news conference, I told him to stay right beside me!” said Simon-Pierre, who appeared smiling and wearing a white habit at the news conference.
Pope Benedict XVI has set May 1 as the date for his predecessor’s beatification, a step toward possible sainthood.
The haste to make John Paul II a saint is unseemly, and the speed at which he is being beatified is unprecedented. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that JP II was the first “rockstar pope”, appearing in his popemobile to the masses and being constantly on TV. The Catholic Church, a deeply troubled regime beset with vice and accusations of abuse, probably figures it needs a hero right now.
Never mind that if I made the claims Sister Marie Simon-Pierre made I’d be carted off to the madhouse, or at very least be given a wide berth by most sensible people.
But the Church likes its stars to do magic tricks. I suppose they’ve seen the appeal of the Harry Potter books and want a piece of the action. Fair enough. It’s only a pity that they can’t magic away some of the evil within their own ranks.
This particular miracle cure story reminds me of my own personal experience of an amazing return from illness. Some years ago I was suffering from a terrible cold. That night I sat up and watched the movie The Dirty Dozen. The next day I awoke feeling better. So let’s beatify Lee Marvin too. I swear he cured me.