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74-year-old woman 'healed' from paralysis in church

Apparent miracle to be confirmed by doctors, authorities said

07 April, 19:08
74-year-old woman 'healed' from paralysis in church (ANSA) - Naples, April 7 - A 74-year-old woman has claimed she was miraculously healed of an 11-year paralysis while attending Mass in a Pompeii cathedral dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary, church sources said Monday.

Archbishop Tommaso Caputo, who is in charge of the cathedral, urged caution.

''We must wait for conclusive scientific evidence. While many prodigious events have taken place in this sanctuary by the intercession of the Virgin Mary, it is up to medical science to produce the evidence to confirm them'', the archbishop said in a statement.

Michelina Comegna has five sons and 12 grandchildren, and has been married to Giovanni Passaro, now a pensioner, for 55 years. In April 2003 she was paralyzed following breast cancer surgery and a brain aneurysm that left her bed-ridden for three years. A mastectomy and several cycles of chemotherapy followed, and she spent the next 11 years in and out of a wheelchair, afflicted with partial paralysis. Her husband, she said, was constantly at her side during that time. For years, he took her to the basilica every Sunday. ''I always prayed to the Pompeii Madonna and Jesus to let me walk again, because it was so humiliating to have to be helped to do everything, even to go to the bathroom'', Comegna said. On March 23, she said, a miracle took place during 10 o'clock Mass. ''I took communion and instantly felt a fire going from my feet up my legs and my whole body. At the same time, I was overcome by an intense scent of flowers'', she said.

''I forgot I was in church and looked around, convinced my clothes were on fire. I was covered in sweat, it was dripping from my head like water. I told my husband I was feeling an intense joy, and I needed to walk''.

Monsignor Giuseppe Adamo celebrated that Mass.

''She came up to me with a shaky step, held up by someone'', he recounted. ''As soon as she took communion, she started unbuttoning herself, saying she felt hot and also that she was smelling a perfume. Then she broke out in a sweat''.

''Medical certificates will be produced, and we will also verify what happened'', he added.

''She stood up and walked quickly down the nave'', said Comegna's husband. ''I told her to slow down, that she might fall. But she just rushed on. There was no trace of the paralysis from the brain aneurysm''.

''I never could stand to be in church more than 10 minutes'', Passaro added. ''But now I have seen a great miracle. Everything has changed''.

While authorities, both secular and spiritual, investigate the reported miracle, the Passaros have already had an arm and a leg etched in silver, which they will donate to the basilica in gratitude.