Monday, April 28, 2014


All roads certainly led to Rome on Sunday and, whilst the eyes of the world were upon the rejoicing city, a little town in Sicily was remembering a miracle which happened there and which played a largely unpublicised part in the great events of the day:

In May 1967 Giovanna La Terra Majore was 54 years old and had been bedridden for 23 years in her home town of Chiaramonte Gulfi. A friend who had visited Rome had brought back a picture of Pope John XXIII for Giovanna and advised her to use it to help her pray. Giovanna did so but what she actually prayed for was death, to release her from her pain. On 13th May Giovanna had received the last rites. Suddenly, she felt the bed shake and a kind of pressure on her spine, as though someone was trying to push her up. Then, feeling as if she were being supported by two strong hands, she seemed to be propelled to the middle of the room - and she was standing, watching her own shrivelled feet uncurling. The next day, the "Good Pope" appeared to her in a dream and told her that she could now walk without fear.

Giovanna and her fellow-Chiramontani had no doubt that a miracle had taken place and to whom it should have been attributed. Although the event was considered during Pope John's beatification cause, it was excluded from his canonisation process. However, Suor Caterina Capitani, whose recovery from terminal illness was officially attributed to the intercession of Pope John XXIII, visited Chiaramonte Gulfi several times and met Giovanna. In a nice postscript to the story, the two women later visited Rome together and received Holy Communion from the hands of Pope John Paul II.


Nicholas Temple said...

Wow! Last night a horrendous thunderstorm storm awakened my 91-year-old mom. She was terrified and prayed for help (not to a Pope, however). Then She, who needs help getting into and out of bed and walking, was so frightened that she got out of bed by herself and walked to a chair in another room.

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in (y)our philosophy." ~ William Shakespeare (Hamlet to Horatio)

Winchester whisperer said...

The beauty of holiness

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

That's amazing, Nick. Thank you for sharing. What an apt quote, too. xx
Indeed, WW.

Lee said...

And it's a miracle that the abuse of innocent children was pushed under the carpet and kept there for so long.

I'm afraid I can't rejoice over the making of two seems hypocritical to me...but, that's just my opinion. I'm not an overly religious person. And all the pomp and circumstance seems out of place when so much suffering still goes on.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

All the more reason, I would have thought, to celebrate two good men, Lee.


View My Stats