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Pope John Paul II
French nun in John Paul’s beatification process identified
French nun in John Paul’s beatification process identified

.- The previously anonymous French nun, who may have received a miraculous cure from God by the prayers of Pope John Paul II, has been identified.  Wednesday an official at the Paris maternity hospital of Sainte-Felicite said - on condition of anonymity - that Sr. Marie-Simon-Pierre is the French nun who was allegedly cured from Parkinson’s disease after she and her community of sisters prayed for the intercession of the late Pope John Paul II.

According to a report from The Associated Press, the nun is a member of the Congregation of Little Sisters of Catholic Motherhood, based in Aix-en-Provence in southeast France.

The official announcement of the alleged miracle, which has yet to be investigated by the Vatican’s Congregation of the Saints, is expected to be made during a Palm Sunday Mass this week by the nun’s bishop.

French newspaper Le Figaro was first to report the nun’s name, adding that she was 45 years old.

The nun is reportedly traveling to Rome for ceremonies Monday marking the second anniversary of the Pontiff's death and the closure of a church investigation into his life and virtues.

She is expected to be the main guest next week when the Diocese of Rome gives the Vatican tens of thousands of pages of documentation on John Paul’s holiness.

The sister’s miraculous cure through the intercession of the late Pope could provide the needed miracle to name John Paul II a “Blessed” of the Church.  

Only one document about the long-mysterious nun's experience has been made public: an article she wrote for "Totus Tuus," the official magazine of John Paul's beatification case.

She wrote of being diagnosed with Parkinson's in June 2001, having a strong spiritual affinity for John Paul because he too suffered from the disease, and of her worsening symptoms suffered in the weeks after the Pope died on April 2, 2005.

"I was losing weight day by day. I could no longer write and if I did try to, it was difficult to decipher. I could no longer drive ... because my left leg became rigid," Sister Marie-Simon-Pierre wrote.

However, she said, on June 2, 2005, after she and her community had prayed for John Paul’s intercession, and exactly two months after the Pope's death, she felt the sudden urge to pick up a pen: "My handwriting was completely legible ... my body was no longer pained, no longer rigid ... I felt a profound sense of peace."

Her neurologist and other doctors and psychologists who later examined her were at a loss for a medical explanation, Reuters reports.

In a phone interview on Thursday, Father Robert Aliger, a spokesman for the Diocese of Aix-en-Provence, described a humble nun who went through an "incredible" experience — an unexplained recovery from Parkinson's disease after she and her community of nuns prayed to John Paul.

"All those that knew her before and after see clearly that she is cured," he told the Associated Press.

According to the priest, the diocese in southeast France finished its investigation into the nun's claims last week and will present its conclusions in Rome.

Its four to five month investigation was based on medical records, blood test results, X-rays and doctors' reports, "so that the bishop can present a solid dossier in Rome," said Aliger.

"It's a voluminous dossier," he said. "There are five boxes — I saw them — of originals and a big box of X-rays."

The nun "had tears in her eyes" at the closing session of the investigation, he added.

"She is a gentle, reserved woman," he said. "She is a very simple, very ordinary person who is, I think, deeply moved by what happened to her."

The nun also underwent a psychiatric evaluation and had her handwriting analyzed, since a change in handwriting is a classic symptom of Parkinson's disease, the Rome-based cleric spearheading her cause, Monsignor Slawomir Oder, said this week.

The process to name the beloved Pope John Paul a Saint has been spurred on by cries from the faithful.  Pope Benedict XVI announced in May 2005 that he was waiving the traditional five-year waiting period and allowing the beatification process to begin. There is still no word on when any beatification or canonization might occur.


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