Pope John Paul II Closer to Sainthood After Miracle Cure Claimed

Tuesday, 19 Feb 2013 09:25 AM

By Megan Anderle

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The testimony of a Colombian man who said he was “miraculously cured” of Parkinson's disease through the intercession of Pope John Paul II has brought the Polish Pope closer to canonization.

The testimony was sent to the Vatican office heading the sainthood cause for the late pontiff. If it's concluded that the unexplained healing was a miracle, attributable to the Pope's intercession, it would fulfill the requirement for his canonization, according to Catholicculture.org.

Marco Fidel Rojas, the former mayor of the town of Huila, said he experienced the first symptoms of Parkinson's in December 2005. After a series of examinations, doctors determined he had suffered a stroke, which led to the development of Parkinson's.

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“I felt like I could collapse at any moment. Various times I fell down outside on the street,” he told Columbian newspaper El Tiempo in July.

As his health deteriorated over the years, Fidel remembered meeting Paul II after Mass in Rome on Dec. 27, 2010. He said he prayed one night and the next morning woke up with no symptoms of the illness.

“Yes, John Paul II gave me the miracle of curing me,” he said. “My great promise to my healer is to spread devotion to him wherever I can.”

Dr. Antonio Schlesinger Piedrahita, a neurologist in Colombia, confirmed that Fidel no longer has Parkinson's.

John Paul II was Pope from 1978 until his death in 2005. He was the second-longest serving Pope in history and the first non-Italian since 1523. He produced more beatifications (1,338) and canonizations (482) than all previous popes combined, the Daily Beast reports.

He also was a controversial figure both for how he handled the church's sex abuse scandal and for making the canonization process faster and easier.

The news that John Paul II is closer to canonization comes soon after Pope Benedict XVI’s decision on Feb. 11 to retire due to health issues.

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