• France's news in English

Pilgrim cured in '69th miracle' at Lourdes

AFP/The Local · 22 Jul 2013, 13:46

Published: 22 Jul 2013 13:46 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

An Italian woman who suffered from severe hypertension was cured after visiting Lourdes in 1989, the 69th such miracle to take place at the fabled French shrine, a Catholic official said Sunday.

Giovanni Giudici, bishop of Pavia, where Danila Castelli lives, recognized the event as a miracle last month, but flooding at the religious site in south-western France prevented the Lourdes sanctuary from publishing the news earlier.

"When the miraculous healing was announced we were under two metres of water, and then we decided not to make any official announcement," Joel Luzenko, spokesman for Lourdes, told AFP.

Born in January 1946, Castelli started suffering from "spontaneous and serious hypertensive crises" - sudden, brutal rises in blood pressure - aged 34, according to the Lourdes website.

Tests detected several problems, including a tumour that secretes high amounts of catecholamines - hormones such as adrenalin or dopamine - in her urogenital system.

She was operated on several times without any success, the site says.

"In May 1989, during a pilgrimage to Lourdes, Danila gets out of the baths where she had been submerged and she feels an extraordinary feeling of wellbeing," the site said.

Several months later, she reported her apparent cure to the Lourdes Office of Medical Observations.

After five meetings between 1989 and 2010, the office concluded that "Mrs Castelli was cured, in a complete and lasting way, from the date of her pilgrimage to Lourdes -- 21 years ago -- of the syndrome she had suffered and without any relation to the treatments and the surgeries she underwent."

The case was passed on to the Lourdes International Medical Committee, which counts some 20 doctors and which certified that the way she healed remains "unexplained according to current scientific knowledge".

Story continues below…

Then the bishop of Pavia last month officially declared the cure "prodigious-miraculous".

This is the 69th such miracle attributed to Lourdes since the late 1850s.

The 68th was that of an Italian nun who had been paralysed for years and started walking after a pilgrimage to Lourdes in 1965. Her case was officially recognized as a miracle last year.

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

UK border must move back, says 'next French president'
Photo: AFP

If favourite Alain Juppé is elected, Britain and France are in for some difficult negotiations.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available