| Pope John Paul II
Rome, Nov. 7: A man apparently cured of lung, kidney and spinal cancer just weeks after doctors said he had no hope left has been cited as the final miracle required to secure the sainthood of Pope John Paul II.
Nicola Grippo, 76, a tailor from Salerno, southern Italy, contracted the cancer three years ago. Until a few months ago his body was riddled with tumours and his doctors told him he would die.
A French nun apparently cured of Parkinson’s disease was the late Pope’s first miracle, this latest should secure his sainthood.
However, he made a dramatic recovery after a vision of John Paul II apparently came to his wife Elisabeth. “One night, the Pope appeared to her in a dream, holding a small child in his hand and walking on a road of white cobblestones,” he told La Stampa newspaper.
“The doctors came to me and asked if I was a believer, if I had prayed to a saint. So my wife told them about her dream. They told me that my lungs were clear of all traces of cancer, and that they could not claim credit for the cure,” he added.
His recovery has been held up by a senior Vatican prelate, Archbishop Gerardo Pierro, as the second miracle that John Paul II needs to be canonised. “It was a prodigious intervention, a miracle of the first order,” he said.
The late Pope has been put on the so-called “fast-track” to sainthood by his successor, Benedict XVI, and Vatican theologians are currently verifying the evidence in his favour. The investigators are weighing his life, his works and writings, and the virtue of his service to God.
However, two miracles are required, which must be examined by several Vatican councils and consultants before being given the seal of approval by Pope Benedict.
The sudden appearance of Vatican officials at his bedside shocked Grippo, who said: “For me it was a surprise, this story about the miracle. Today I was called by Bishop Pierro to the cathedral and he made me sign the papers that authorise the Vatican to examine all my medical records. I am hot and bothered by all this attention. I would have liked that it remained a secret.”
Doctors at the San Leonardo hospital in Salerno are thought to have tipped off the church.
The hospital is well used to miracles. One of its former patients made a similar recovery, which was cited during the canonisation process of Padre Pio, Italy’s most popular saint.
The late Pope’s first miracle involved a French nun apparently cured of Parkinson’s disease.