Bishop Emmanuel Delmas of Angers, France confirmed the healing of a man at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes.
“This healing can be considered as a personal gift of God for this man, as a fact of grace, as a sign of Christ the Savior,” the bishop said March 27.
Serge Francois, 56, had lost almost all mobility in his left leg after complications from two operations left him with a herniated disc. He made a pilgrimage to the shrine on April 13, 2002 to pray for healing.
Bishop Delmas noted that the healing took place after Francois “had finished praying at the grotto and went to the miraculous spring to drink the water and wash his face. A unique gesture of the Virgin Mary can be seen in the healing of this man,” he said.
The Spanish daily La Razon said that after Francois' recovery, he returned to Lourdes in 2003 and reported his case to the medical commission, which began its investigation.
The Lourdes Medical Commission later verified that “the rapid functional healing, unrelated to any form of treatment" was "still present, eight years later.”
Francois made a 975-mile pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, Spain in thanksgiving for his recovery.
Bishop Jacques Perrier of Tarbes and Lourdes explained that doctors are “hesitant today to use the term ‘inexplicable,’ unless they qualify it with ‘scientifically'.”
“They prefer to limit themselves to one fact: the healing is inexplicable today. They consider this qualification to be essential so they are not discredited later by colleagues who reject the inexplicable,” he said in a statement published on the Shrine of Lourdes’ website.
“Moreover,” he added, “the doctors at Lourdes always strive to be medically irreproachable. The Church herself encourages them in this.”
To commemorate the latest healing, Bishop Delmas has invited Catholics to a special Mass in Lourdes during a pilgrimage to the shrine May 3-8.