Bogotá, Colombia, Jul 17, 2012 / 09:30 am
The testimony of a Colombian man who says he was "miraculously cured" of Parkinson's Disease through the intercession of Blessed John Paul II could allow for the canonization of the Polish pope.
According to the newspaper El Tiempo, the case involves Marco Fidel Rojas, the former mayor of the town of Huila, whose testimony has now been sent to the Vatican office heading the sainthood cause for the late pontiff.
Recounting his story to the Colombian paper, Fidel remembers experiencing the first symptoms of the disease in December of 2005. After a series of examinations, doctors determined he had suffered a stroke, which led to the development of Parkinson's.
Little by little the disease began to get worse. "I felt like I could collapse at any moment. Various times I fell down outside on the street," he recalled, adding that once he was almost run over by a taxi.
As the years went by and his health continued to deteriorate, Fidel suddenly remembered on the evening of Dec. 27, 2010, that during a trip to Rome he had met Pope John Paul II after Mass and spoke with him for a few moments.
"I have a friend up there," Fidel thought that night, amid his pain. "And he had Parkinson's. Why didn't I pray to him before? Venerable Father John Paul II: come and heal me, put your hands on my head."
After praying, Fidel said he slept perfectly that night, and that the next morning he woke up with no symptoms of the illness.
"Yes, John Paul II gave me the miracle of curing me," he said. "My great promise to my healer is to spread devotion to him wherever I can."
El Tiempo reported that Dr. Antonio Schlesinger Piedrahita, a renowned neurologist in Colombia, has certified Fidel's healing and says he is in good health.
The miraculous healing of a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre – who also suffered from Parkinson's Disease – paved the way for the beatification of Pope John Paul II, which took place in Rome in May 2011.