Skip to comments.Woman whose healing is 67th Lourdes miracle tells her story
Posted on 12/21/2005 9:34:22 AM PST by markomalley
LOURDES-MIRACLE Dec-20-2005 (550 words) xxxi
Woman whose healing is 67th Lourdes miracle tells her story
By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Anna Santaniello said that after volunteers lowered her into the chilly waters at the French Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in 1952 she was cured of a heart disease and began serving meals to others who had traveled to the shrine seeking healing.
Santaniello, 93, recounted her story to Vatican Radio in mid-December, a month after her local bishop announced that hers was the 67th officially recognized miraculous cure to have occurred at Lourdes.
Members of the International Medical Committee of Lourdes had agreed in 1964 that there was no natural or medical explanation for her recovery from mitral disease, which affects the heart.
As is customary, the committee forwarded its findings and Santaniello's records to her home diocese, the Archdiocese of Salerno-Campagna-Acerno, Italy, where a special commission studying the cure said it couldn't draw any conclusions.
For 40 years nothing happened. Then the Lourdes medical officer, Dr. Patrick Theillier, brought up Santaniello's case during a 2004 meeting with Italian Catholics who take sick people to Lourdes.
Archbishop Gerardo Pierro of Salerno agreed to reopen the investigation. After asking for her old records and a new cardiology report, the archbishop informed the Lourdes shrine in September that he agreed her healing was miraculous.
The archbishop made the news public in mid-November during a Mass attended by Santaniello, her relatives and volunteers of the Lourdes pilgrimage program.
The official Lourdes Web site said: "Anna Santaniello developed severe heart disease following acute rheumatic arthritis. She presented with severe and persistent dyspnea (breathlessness), or Bouillaud's disease, which made it difficult for her to speak and impossible for her to walk, with severe asthma attacks, cyanosis of her face and lips, and bilateral lower limb edema."
Family, friends and even Santaniello's priest told her she was too sick to make the long train journey to Lourdes.
"I told them all: 'I want to go. If I must die, I want to die seeing Our Lady,'" she told Vatican Radio.
She could barely breathe and the Lourdes volunteers did not want to take her from the residence for the sick down to the grotto, she said.
"I prayed with a loud voice so she would hear me, 'Blessed Virgin, you must help me,'" she said. "I saw a shadow, a shadow in the sky that whispered in my ear, 'Do not listen to them, keep going, keep going.'
"Everyone was praying for me, men and women. They had me kiss the statue of Our Lady that they had there on a small altar," she said.
She entered the icy waters of the baths, "but after a few minutes I felt a great warmth, precisely around my heart. I felt calm. I got up and the volunteers wanted to put me back on the stretcher.
"I told them, 'Go help the others because I can do it on my own,'" she said.
"I got out and went into the square and started serving lunch to the sick," Santaniello said. "At 4 in the afternoon they have a procession with the Blessed Sacrament and I joined in, singing."
She told Vatican Radio, "I am very grateful to Our Lady because I lost a brother and sister to the same disease; he was 29 and she was 33."
Interior of one of the Baths of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes
Spiritual cures from Lourdes are much more common and even a lot more important than the medical cures. I am one of them. Our Lady of Lourdes brought me to Jesus.
Thank you for this post. Saint Bernadette pray for us.
BTTT of February 11, 2007!
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