Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Don Bosco, Healing Miracles and Our Lady

The following comes from the Catholic Exchange:

Among the other cures that seemed to be given by God to gain benefactors for the humble priest’s work were a number in Rome. For example, when Don Bosco had great trouble there getting approval for his radical new congregation, God used the saint to give healings to several important church officials who opposed approval or to members of their families. For all today’s theology about not bargaining with God, God seemed himself to barter the cures for approval of his saint’s congregation.

Among these cures a key opponent, Monsignor Svegliati, was healed overnight of virulent influenza following the saint’s visit; Cardinal Antonelli, in great pain and immobilized by gout, when Don Bosco called on him was well the next day; and the eleven-year-old nephew of Cardinal Berardi, dying of typhoid, was inexplicably healed after the saint came to pray over him. To each of these churchmen, before working the cure, Don Bosco made it clear that their vote was expected in return. These changed votes gave the Salesians approval.

Unbelievers were also among those healed by the saint. I think of the prominent doctor who came to visit Don Bosco. After a few social remarks, he said, “People say you can cure all diseases. Is that so?”

“Certainly not,” the saint answered.

“But I’ve been told —” The well-educated man was suddenly stammering. Fumbling in his pockets, he pulled out a tiny notebook. “See. I’ve even got the names and what each one was cured of.”

Don Bosco shrugged. “Many people come here to ask favors through Mary’s intercession. If they obtain what they seek, that’s due to the Blessed Virgin, not me.”

“Well, let her cure me,” the doctor said agitatedly, tapping the note­book on his well-clad knee, “and I’ll believe in these miracles too.”

“What’s your ailment?”

“I’m an epileptic.” His seizures, he told Don Bosco, had become so frequent during the past year that he couldn’t go out any more. In desperation, he was hoping for help beyond medicine.

“Well, do what the others do who come here,” Don Bosco said matter-of-factly. “You want the Blessed Virgin to heal you. So kneel, pray with me, and prepare to purify and strengthen your soul through confession and Holy Communion.”

The physician grimaced. “Suggest something else. I can’t do any of that.”

“Why not?”

“It would be dishonest. I’m a materialist I don’t believe in God or the Virgin Mary. I don’t believe in miracles. I don’t even believe in prayer.”

For a space the two men sat in silence. Then Don Bosco smiled, as only he could, at his visitor. “You are not entirely without faith — after all, you came here hoping for a cure.”

As the saint smiled at him, something welled up in the doctor. Don Bosco knelt, and he knelt too without another word and made the Sign of the Cross.

Moments later, he began his confession.

Afterward, he declared, he felt a joy he would never have believed possible. Time and again he returned to give thanks for his spiritual healing.

As for the epilepsy, that simply vanished.

No comments: