French nun says late pope gave her "second birth"

Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:30pm EST
 
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By Jean-Francois Rosnoblet

AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France (Reuters) - The French Catholic nun who credits the late Pope John Paul with curing her of Parkinson's disease said on Monday her sudden recovery came just as she was about to quit working because of her ailment.

Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, 49, said she woke up in June 2005, two months after the Polish-born pope had died, suddenly cured of the disease she had suffered from for four years.

John Paul's successor, Pope Benedict, approved a decree last Friday declaring her healing a miracle and attributing it to the late pontiff, clearing the way for him to be beatified on May 1.

"When I woke up, I felt I was not the same," Sister Marie told a news conference at the bishop's office in this southern French city. "There was no more heaviness in my muscles, I could move normally. For me it was a new birth, a second birth."

Her superior said the nun had told her the previous evening that she could no longer work in their order's maternity clinic because of her worsening health.

"I asked her to take a pencil and write John Paul's name," Mother Marie Thomas told journalists. "I saw the writing was very messy and illegible. I said to myself there was nothing left to do but hope."

Church-appointed doctors concluded that there was no medical explanation for the healing, although last year there were some doubts about the validity of the miracle.

A further miracle occurring after the beatification ceremony -- which confers the title "Blessed" on John Paul -- must be approved before he can be made a saint.   Continued...