Lourdes, Nov 15, 2005 / 12:00 am (CNA).- The Catholic Church has officially recognized the miraculous healing of an Italian woman who visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in France more than 50 years ago when she was suffering from a fatal form of rheumatic heart disease.
Anna Santaniello, now 94, said her illness disappeared during a pilgrimage to the Marian shrine in 1952, reported ANSA. The international Catholic committee that runs the shrine has acknowledged Santaniello as the 67th person to officially healed at Lourdes.
In 1964, the Church had declared her case an “extraordinary healing.” Archbishop Gerardo Pierro of Salerno, in southern Italy where Santaniello lives, announced the Church's decision on Sunday at mass. After the mass, Santaniello told the daily Il Giornale that she was diagnosed with the disease as a child and the same illness had killed one of her brothers and a sister. "My condition got worse as I got older and after a while I was confined to bed, barely able to breathe. The doctors had lost all hope for me," she reportedly said.