Floribeth Mora Diaz was told by doctors in 2011 that she had an inoperable brain aneurysm. The Costa Rican woman prayed for Blessed John Paul II’s intercession for a cure while watching a broadcast of the former Pope’s beatification on May 1, 2011. Immediately, she began to feel better. Later, doctors couldn’t explain her rapid recovery. They saw no traces of her once life-threatening aneurysm.
Mora sent her story to the Vatican for review in the cause for Pope John Paul’s sainthood.
On July 5, Pope Francis approved Mora’s miracle and thus paved the way for Blessed John Paul II’s canonization. Cardinals met in a consistory Sept. 30 in Rome to set the date for John Paul II’s canonization. Prior to the cardinals’ meeting, Pope Francis said in an unofficial remark that John Paul II and John XXIII would be canonized on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 27, 2014.
During a recent television interview in Costa Rica, EWTN’s Pepe Alonso, host of the Spanish-language program, Nuestra Fe en Vivo, spoke with the fortunate woman about her faith and the wonder God worked in her life through the intercession of soon-to-be St. John Paul II.
Floribeth, share with us about when, at the hospital, you were told, "You can go home," because there was nothing the doctors could do for your condition.
At the moment they said that, I knew that I was going to die. I felt such a horror. I told my husband: "I don’t want to die. Help me." I knew that he could do nothing, but he was the closest one to me. He is the one who was going to give me that strength at that moment. He is my partner. He has always been with me.
And I, when I arrived home, saw my children worried about me. …
Many people would come to visit and tell me: "Flori, don’t give up. Have faith." And I would tell them, "No, I have faith. But my human side is afraid." …
I would always say at night: "Lord, I have faith; but grow my faith, Lord, because I am afraid. John Paul, pray for me." Because I always admired John Paul when he was alive, and he is a saint — a man who God put on this earth and showed the world that he was its friend.
When the next test was coming up, what was your attitude when you went back to the hospital?
First, I asked [God] to let me continue.
That May 1, [Divine] Mercy Sunday, I asked my husband not to give me the sleeping pills. "I want to see the beatification of John Paul," [I said.]
He gave them to me anyway, but I woke up. How? I don’t know. I was able to see the beatification. …
I saw it, in the morning. It must have been around eight in the morning. I awoke in my room, alone in the dark. And I heard a voice that told me: "Get up."
So I felt scared and looked around. I was alone. I looked again at the booklet I had received as a gift, for the celebration of John Paul. He said to me: "Get up. Do not be afraid." So I got up and told him: "Yes, sir."
After May 1, I had incredible improvement. That day, when I got up, I felt a renewed spirit, a peace in me. I no longer felt that fatigue. I felt strong.
At that moment, when you heard, in your spirit, those beautiful words — "Get up. Do not afraid" — did the fear of death disappear?
I had a peace in me, but it was a peace where I still had my problems.
In July , the relic of John Paul II arrived in Costa Rica, and I went to visit it. … We went at eight in the morning [to the parish church], and we went inside. And we were told: "How can we help you?"
"Yes, we came to see the relic," [my husband and I said]. "Please, go ahead," [said] the parish priest. He took me to the parish house … and they showed me the relic. The next day, I went back to the relic with flowers and to tell him about my cure.
After that, on Nov. 11, I had the resonance test [at the hospital]. I went there so happy. I went through the whole process, but I was not afraid.
The next day, I had an appointment with the doctor to see the results. He looked at the monitor and was stunned. … He would look at one frame, and then another and another, and continue to be stunned. And when he said that there was nothing wrong, I said: "I knew it."
What was your reaction when you officially heard from science what you already knew by faith?
I left the hospital so happy that I took that little piece of paper, and I said: "Oh, Lord, my God, thank you. With this, I have the proof that I wanted to elevate John Paul II to the altars." …
Months later, I made the decision to write my testimony, because I wanted the whole world to realize the wonder that was occurring in me — to realize that the Lord, Our Lord, in his incredible mercy, looked at me and gave me life. And I said: "What better way to write it than on the Internet, which everyone reads?"
Yet you know that many, many cases of reported miracles go to the Vatican for evaluation.
I couldn’t find where to send it, so I went to the Vatican’s website. … [Then I found the website] KarolWojtyla.org. There were thousands of testimonies there. I wrote mine, and I clicked and submitted it. I went to [a photograph of] John Paul, which I keep close to my computer, and said: "John Paul, it will be God’s will."
When was the first time that you learned that your miracle had been accepted?
Imagine that — two months later, they located the priest [from the parish where the relic was exhibited] because, in my testimony, I mentioned that whole series of events. I told all that in detail. They found him. [The priest] started to make inquiries, through all available means, because many people had come to see the relic. "Who could it be?" [he wondered.] He said that, when he remembered, he said: "The couple who came with flowers. Let’s find them." They gave him my name. The people in Rome gave him my full name [and said]: "Find her." There is only one Floribeth Mora Diaz in this country. … Then the process came. They asked me: "Can you undergo more tests in Costa Rica?" So I underwent more tests, because they wanted certainty.
And I continued to amaze them, because the tests kept coming back like I had never had anything [wrong].
I laughed, because I said: "Blessed be the Lord. You are not seeing anything. You are not seeing anything either."
So I packaged that proof and submitted [information]. I submitted it to [the Vatican]. And after some time, they called me, and they told me: "Are you willing to go to Rome, to undergo the same tests and to do the same surgical procedure that was done to you in Costa Rica?" [I said], "Of course."
I was admitted to a hospital [in Rome] and underwent all the tests again. … They did the whole procedure again. And I amazed the Italians. My test [showed] there was no aneurysm.
Floribeth, your name is going to be heard frequently because your cure represents a miracle of God, through the intercession that John Paul worked in you. I’m sure you will be present at the canonization. What is going to happen with you from this moment on?
As I said from the first day … don’t look at this woman who is here. I am not the important one. What is important here is what God worked in me. … Look at me and believe in God. Because I was on the edge of dying, and here I am now, talking with you. So believe in God. You have before you a healing. If you don’t believe in this, in what can we believe?