Floribeth Mora Diaz, the Costa Rican woman whose healing through the intercession of Bl. John Paul II paved the way for his canonization Sunday, describes the incident as being a rebirth.
"That was the day I was born again: May 1, 2011," Mora told CNA April 24.
In April 2011, Mora had been diagnosed with a serious brain aneurism and been given a month to live.
Mora explained that "once I became ill, I began to carry an image of John Paul II in my hand; I believed in his intercession,” adding that she asked “for his intercession constantly, that he might help me.”
The wife and mother recalled that her admiration for the Polish Pope began when he visited Costa Rica in 1983.
“He was a man completely full of holiness -- that struck me about him. I suppose that's why my admiration grew and so I followed him and asked his intercession.”
Thus, she said, she prayed to the future saint in a personal way.
Mora’s husband, Edwin Arce, said it was not difficult for their family to believe Floribeth’s cure was the result of miraculous intercession.
“When I began to see improvement in her, we were sure it was a miracle ... we saw that there was the hand of God.”
He recounted the challenge of his wife’s infirmity, saying that “in the hospital, when I was in desperation, begging God … I was saying, ‘God, help me, Karol Wojtyla, intercede before God, help me through this, I cannot do this’, and I heard a voice saying ‘take her’, but I did not want her to leave the hospital … and when the voice said again ‘take her, be not afraid’ … it was God, it was John Paul II.”
Arce said that once they had returned home, Floribeth said “my love, I want to tell you something, but maybe you’ll think I’m crazy.”
Reassuringly, however, Edwin responded, “no, my love, be calm, tell me.”
He said that “when she began telling me, I got chills and said, ‘my love, be calm; if you’re crazy, I am crazy, because I too heard these words in the hospital.’”
Mariano Ramirez Carbajal, the doctor assigned by the Costa Rican archdiocese as a medical expert in Mora’s case, said that “her medical history, her clinical documents and images, were true … I have never seen an aneurism disappear spontaneously. This is the first time I have seen an aneurism disappear.”
Fernando Sanchez Campos, the Costa Rican ambassador to the Holy See, said that many of his countrymen had come to Rome for the canonization of John Paul II and John XXIII, and that the occasion is, for Central America, “a great national party.”
“The people are living with a kind of privilege and recognition of their faith. The Costa Rican people, they are a very pious people.”