May 23, 2018

Second miracle brings Blessed Paul VI closer to sainthood

Pope Paul VI greets a child as he visits the parish of Jesus the Divine Master in Rome April 2, 1972. PHOTO: CNS photo/Giancarlo Giuliani, Catholic Press Photo

The Pope who authored Humanae Vitae is just one step away from sainthood, following Vatican approval of a second miracle attributed to his intercession.

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has recognised as miraculous the healing of a five month-old unborn child after her mother prayed to Giovanni Battista Montini—Pope Paul VI.

This decision was reached by the Cardinals of the Congregation following a unanimous vote on 6 February. All that remains is for Pope Francis to grant his approval. Following that, a date will be set for the canonisation ceremony.

The mother of the child who received the miraculous healing was suffering from a disease which threatened to cause a miscarriage of her pregnancy. Both her life and the child’s were at risk.

A few days after his beatification in 2014, the pregnant woman from Verona in Italy, prayed to Paul VI for his intercession. The child was eventually born in perfect health.

Pope Paul VI is pictured in this undated photo. Pope Paul, who served as pope from 1963-1978, was declared blessed by Pope Francis 19 October 2014. He is most remembered for his 1968 encyclical, “Humanae Vitae,” which affirmed the church’s teaching against artificial contraception. PHOTO: CNS photo/Giancarlo Giuliani, Catholic Press Photo

The case was brought to the Congregation in 2014 and was analysed by both medical experts and theologians.

The first miracle attributed to Paul VI, prior to his beatification, also involved an unborn child. A pregnant woman was advised to have an abortion because her child was disabled. Instead the woman prayed to Paul VI and her child was born completely healthy.

Pope Paul VI, who died in 1978, brought to a close the Second Vatican Council. He also wrote the pivotal encyclical, Humanae Vitae which affirmed the Church’s disapproval of artificial contraception. The document foretold the dire consequences for society if the use artificial contraception became widespread. His words are now considered prophetic by many in the Church.

Pope Paul VI greets a child as he visits the parish of Jesus the Divine Master in Rome April 2, 1972. PHOTO: CNS photo/Giancarlo Giuliani, Catholic Press Photo

At Paul’s beatification in 2014 Pope Francis said, “The grandeur of Blessed Paul VI shines forth: before the advent of a secularised and hostile society, he could hold fast, with farsightedness and wisdom—at times alone—to the helm of the barque of Peter, while never losing his joy and trust in the Lord.”

According to Vatican Insider, it is highly likely that the canonisation will take place in Rome in October this year.

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