A Miracle for Canonization

Stanislaus of Jesus and Mary Papczynski

Left: Chest X-ray taken on March 19, 2008, shows the severe condition of Barbara’s lungs. Her lungs were not exchanging oxygen, and deadly levels of carbon dioxide caused cerebral hypoxia with life-threatening complications of total organ failure and septic shock. Right: This chest X-ray, taken on March 25, 2008, shows medically unexplained clearing with normal functioning of the lungs. This was the seventh day of the novena to St. Stanislaus.

The Vatican announced the approval of that miracle on January 21, 2016. It involved the healing of a 20-year-old woman in Poland shortly after the  beatification of Fr. Stanislaus. The woman was suffering from a respiratory problem that resembled that of a common cold. All attempts at treatment with a variety of antibiotics ended in failure. Her condition deteriorated. She lost consciousness, and her body began to shut down. The doctor informed the family that her lungs were destroyed and her death was imminent.

After consultation with the family, the doctors decided to remove her from life support. This was on Wednesday of the Holy Week. The mother, filled with grief, went to her parish church to pray. There, a catechist noticed her crying, approached her, and handed her a booklet that contained instructions on praying a novena through the intercession of Blessed Stanislaus. The woman urged the mother to recite it and to place confidence in God’s grace working through Blessed Stanislaus. The mother, together with her husband and other family members, began to pray the novena.

Even though the woman had been removed from life support, she did not die. To the contrary, she regained consciousness. Several days into the novena, the woman fully recovered. Seeing the turnaround in her condition, the doctors took an x-ray of her lungs. This was on the ninth day (the last day) of the novena. To their total disbelief, her lungs were fully healed, resembling those of a newborn infant.

She was discharged from the hospital during Easter week with a cure that medical science had no explanation. She proceeded with her wedding plans, as arranged before her illness. Within a few weeks, the wedding took place. She married the young man, who, though weak in faith, remained at her bedside day and night while she was in the hospital. They now have two children, and her health is in perfect order.

A medical team of the Holy See reviewed the case, and on September 17, 2015 (coincidentally, the 314th anniversary of his death), the team unanimously affirmed that the woman’s cure has no natural or scientific explanation.