Published Sept. 9, 2019
A leper. A man born blind. A crippled woman. A paralyzed man.
The Gospels are filled with stories of people whom Jesus miraculously healed. Healing was a key part of Jesus’ three years of public ministry, and it is a ministry that the Catholic Church continues to this day, noted Father Frank Lioi.
The church’s ministry of healing does not always result in miraculous cures, although such wonders do occur. In early July, for instance, Pope Francis formally recognized a miraculous healing attributed to the intercession of the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, sixth bishop of the Diocese of Rochester (1966-69) who passed away in 1979. When an Illinois mother gave birth in 2010 to a boy who was not breathing and had no heartbeat, she prayed for the intercession of the prelate who was born in El Paso, Ill., in the Diocese of Peoria. Her son made a miraculous recovery and remains healthy today, according to reporting by Catholic News Service.
A similar sense of peace often comes over those who have received the sacrament of the anointing of the sick, Father Lioi said. This sacrament, which he called the church’s preeminent source of healing of both body and spirit, is a continuation of Jesus’ own healing ministry.
Gina Capellazzi, New Media Coordinator, Jeff Witherow, Chief Photographer - File photos by Catholic Courier