Saturday, April 30, 2011

John Paul II 'miracles' posted on Vatican website

Stories of miraculous healings attributed to late pope John Paul II are being posted on a Vatican website that has already collected thousands of reports ahead of his beatification on May 1.

Tales of lives saved, sicknesses cured and families reunited from across Europe have been told in Spanish, French, English, Portuguese, Polish and Italian on the Holy See's beatification website (

John Paul II was set on the road to beatification after the Vatican confirmed he had worked a miracle -- the healing, apparently unexplainable by science, of a French nun affected by Parkinson's who had prayed to be cured.

The Vatican will have to prove a second miracle to make him a saint and since 2006 has been collecting the testimonies of those who say the ex-pontiff has miraculously intervened in their lives.

Many stories speak of "sudden" recoveries from cancer or other devastating illnesses "against the odds." Others describe how the ex-pontiff helped them through moments of despair at work or with tumultuous love stories.

Some confessed they had been living an irreligious life or worshipping pagan gods before rediscovering their Catholic faith thanks to his intervention.

Others wrote that John Paul II appeared to them in a vision or dream during high-risk surgery or life-threatening accidents, helping them to fight for their lives or bear the pain.

Upwards of 400,000 people are expected to descend on Rome for the beatification of the charismatic pope, who reigned for nearly 27 years before succumbing to Parkison's disease in 2005.

The beatification period was fast-tracked as mourners clamoured for John Paul II to be made a saint. 

Pope Benedict XVI waived the usual five-year waiting period, allowing the process to begin soon after he died.