Tom McFeely is the National Catholic Register’s News Editor. He lives in British Columbia.
One hundred and fifty-one years after the Virgin Mary first appeared to St. Bernadette Soubirous at the Grotto of Massabielle in Lourdes, France, healings continue to occur at the Marian pilgrimage site.
The Italian news agency ANSA reported Aug. 24 about an apparent cure of a 50-year-old Italian woman who was afflicted with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a fatal and medically incurable nerve disease.
Turin, August 24 — A woman suffering from a killer nerve disease says she has ditched her wheelchair and even run since a visit to Lourdes earlier this month.
“Ever since I came back I have been walking, doing everything normally, and I’ve even run,” Antonia Raco, 50, told ANSA Monday.
Raco had been in a wheelchair for four years because of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, until the August 5 trip to the Catholic shrine in France.
The woman, from a village near the southern Italian city of Potenza, will be examined Tuesday by a specialist at Turin’s prestigious Molinette Hospital, Adriano Chio’, who has been treating her since 2006.
“He’s the one who’ll be able to fully understand what has happened to me,” said Raco.
“For the moment I’d rather talk about a gift, an act of mercy, rather than a miracle,” she said.
When she was in the ‘healing’ bath at Lourdes, she said, “I felt a voice encouraging me and a strong pain in my legs.”