John Paul I miracle recipient to miss beatification due to broken foot

Pope John Paul I in an undated file photo. Pope John Paul I in an undated file photo. | Vatican Media/CNA.

The young woman who was miraculously healed through the intercession of Pope John Paul I will not attend his beatification in Rome Sunday as planned.

The 22-year-old Candela Giarda explained in a video recorded from Argentina that she had broken her foot and was unable to travel to Italy.

“Unfortunately we can’t go because my foot is broken, but surely at some point we will be able to go to the tomb of John Paul I,” Giarda said in the video, which was shared with CNA’s Spanish language news partner, ACI Prensa.

Giarda was close to death in July 2011 when her mother and local Catholic priest Father José Dabusti prayed for her healing through the intercession of Servant of God Pope John Paul I.

Soon afterward, the 11-year-old Candela began to show signs of improvement, and around six weeks later she was discharged from the hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

After the Vatican investigation into Candela’s healing concluded, Pope Francis recognized the event as a miracle obtained through the intercession of John Paul I on Oct. 13, 2021, paving the way for his beatification.

Giarda thanked “Pope John Paul I for this second chance at life that he gave me; and to Pope Francis for inviting us to his beatification.”

Pope Francis will beatify Venerable John Paul I during Mass in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, Sept. 4.

Sometimes called “the smiling pope,” John Paul I reigned for only 33 days, from Aug. 26 to Sept. 28, 1978.

Roxana Sosa, Candela Giarda’s mother, said in the video that they are “very excited, because it is something very important that they beatify the pope thanks to Cande’s miracle.”

“What happened with Cande may help other people to have a little more faith, of hope in the face of difficult times like the ones we are experiencing,” she said. “We appreciate the prayers offered and we entrust ourselves to the prayers of Pope Francis and we are going to continue praying for him.”

The priest who prayed with Roxana Sosa the night the doctors said there was nothing else they could do for Candela will attend John Paul I’s beatification Sept. 4.

Father José Dabusti, a priest of Buenos Aires, Argentina, is in Rome to attend Pope John Paul I's beatification. Pablo Esparza/CNA
Father José Dabusti, a priest of Buenos Aires, Argentina, is in Rome to attend Pope John Paul I's beatification. Pablo Esparza/CNA

At a press conference in Rome Sept. 2 Father José Dabusti said he has often been asked why he suggested the woman entrust her daughter to John Paul I’s intercession.

“That evening of July 22, 2011, when I was called by a mother, Roxana, to go to the bedside of her dying daughter, and looking at her in that condition I was inspired to turn to John Paul I to ask for the healing of her little girl, and together with her, and with some nurses present, I prayed to him,” he said.

“Until that moment I had never prayed to John Paul I for healing,” the priest said, but he explained that the pope had inspired him at his election, which happened when Dabusti was just 13 years old.

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“I was really struck by the election and the person of Pope Luciani: I saw that he was very simple and very happy,” he said. “These two traits had caught my attention and aroused my admiration, above all, my spontaneous affection for him.”

After that day, Father Dabusti said he kept a portrait of Pope John Paul I in his room: “Growing up, I begged him to help me discern which vocation to follow.”

“And I am certain that Albino Luciani was a mysterious spiritual father and a silent but effective intercessor for me in deciding to embrace the priestly vocation,” he said.

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