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Walking nun declared a miracle

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11:29 CEST+02:00
The case of a nun who started walking after being paralysed for years has become the 68th miracle to be recognised at the fabled French shrine of Lourdes, Catholic officials said Thursday

The priest at Traverso's diocese of Casale Monferrato officially recognised it as a miracle at a mass Thursday, the Sanctuary administering the shrine said.

The incident happened in July 1965, when the nun, Luigina Traverso, started walking during a visit to the holy site. Born in 1934, the nun had been wheelchair-bound despite several operations for lumbar sciatica.

She "was overwhelmed by a sensation of warmth and well-being and warm sensation and felt the sudden impulse to get up," said the Catholic Silesian Sisters order, the Filles de Marie-Auxiliatrice.

"She started moving her paralyzed limbs," the order said.

More than 5,000 miraculous cures have been documented but the Catholic church has so far validated a mere 67. Traverso's case was yet to be officially recognised by the church.

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The shrine at Lourdes is a destination for sick pilgrims many of whom are reported to be miraculously cured of their ailments after drinking the water there.

On 11 February 1858, a 14-year old peasant girl called Bernadette Soubirous claimed to have experienced a series of apparitions of a girl dressed in white and with a blue belt around her waist, who eventually introduced herself as the Immaculate Conception, a name by which the Virgin Mary was known, at a grotto in Lourdes.

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