19 July 2010

Archdiocese Concludes Investigation of Purported Chaminade Miracle; Heads to Congregation for Causes of Saints

This story is making the rounds of the local press. The following excerpt comes from STLToday. This type of investigation by the local diocese is normal procedure in the course of a canonization process. Blessed William Chaminade was Beatified by John Paul II in 2000.

Rome to rule whether St. Louis woman's cure was a miracle

by Greg Jonsson

Rachel Lozano didn't die of cancer as the doctors predicted, and she says it's a miracle.

Not a miracle like a last-minute goal or winning the lottery. The real deal: the work of God through the intercession of a saint.

Other Roman Catholics in St. Louis believe, too, and on Friday, the St. Louis Archdiocese officially wrapped up its investigation into the claimed miracle with a prayer service to mark the occasion. Boxes of testimony generated by the investigative tribunal — about 3,000 pages — will be sent to Rome, where the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints will examine the evidence.

...[Lozano] attributes her remarkable recovery to the French priest Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, who lived from 1761 to 1850. If her case is indeed deemed a miracle, the pope could one day canonize Chaminade as a saint.

"I just feel elated to be part of the process," Lozano said Friday before the prayer service.

One miracle has already been attributed to Chaminade's intercession, the curing of a Argentine woman's lung cancer in 1991. The Vatican deemed that a miracle in 1998. Based on that miracle, Pope John Paul II in 2000 beatified Chaminade, a step toward canonization.

Lozano attended Chaminade's beatification in Rome, and that was the foundation of her miraculous recovery, she and others say.

"She was not feeling well at all," said the Rev. James Tobin, the pastor at Lozano's church, Our Lady of the Pillar, who went with her to Rome. "She began entrusting her health to the intercession of Blessed Chaminade."

Lozano had survived several bouts with cancer, and even underwent a stem cell transplant, but in 2002, doctors found a tumor growing near her heart, lungs and spine.

The news from doctors was all bad: Surgery would kill her. So would the cancer, in weeks or months, depending on which organ the cancer struck first. No one had survived a recurrence of this cancer after a stem cell transplant.

But she lived weeks, months, a year. Scans showed her tumor, which she named Spanky, wasn't growing as expected.

Eventually a surgeon removed the tumor and found it was dead.

"It was pretty astounding," her oncologist told the Post-Dispatch last year.

[...]


The tribunal's evidence is now headed to the Vatican. No one knows when a ruling might come from Rome. ...

1 comment:

StGuyFawkes said...

Rachel's family is known to mine as we were long time members of Our Lady of the Pillar parish.

The story of Rachel's survival has been a treasure of Pillar's parish life and has marked everyone who has had the fortune to belong to Our Lady of the Pillar parish.

I have had the opportunity to speak with Rachel and her parents on social occasions.

One of the things that strikes anyone who meets Rachel is her incredible bouyancy and abundant glee. It was a feature of her personality both during her suffering and remission.

Rachel is testimony to the mysterious way suffering -- like a centripetal force -- draws to God not only the victim but all those around her. In additon, her parents are the kind of folks whose happiness seems to exert a gravitational pull on everyone around them.

This "knocks me out" as Salinger's Holden Caulfied might say. When you meet people who have endured great suffering they are often distinquished by a unique charisma of nobility and joy.