In April 2003, Michelina Comegna, 74, was partially paralyzed after going through treatment for breast cancer. During surgery to remove a lump in her breast, she had an aneurism which left her paralyzed. She went on to have a mastectomy and chemotherapy treatment.
On March 23, 2014, during a service at a Catholic church in modern Pompeii, Italy, Comegna was reportedly healed.
In an interview with a local newspaper, Gazzetta del Sud Online, Comegna told what happened:
“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.
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.
It was so strong, that I began to become scared. I forgot that I was in a church; because of the burning sensation I thought I was on fire.”
Her husband, Giovanni Passaro, who with her, said:
“She got up and quickly walked towards the nave. I asked her to stop, but she went and had no signs of paralysis.
I have seen a great miracle… It changed everything.”
The Vicar of the Catholic church also saw the miracle. However, the Catholic church is reserving judgment until they receive medical confirmation. Archbishop Tommaso Caputo said, “We must wait for conclusive scientific evidence.”
The Catholic church and miracles
The Catholic church has always been a bit of enigma for me. They have mixture of true Biblical teaching with numerous traditions, particularly their reverence of Mary and the Saints.
However, at the core there is still a foundational belief in Jesus, which is the source of any miracles that do take place.
A statement by Comegna reveals this mixture:
“I have 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.”
She had been praying to both Mary and Jesus. Be clear, it was Jesus who healed her.
A similar thing happened in the book of Acts. Paul and Barnabas were at the city of Lystra, when Paul healed a paralyzed man:
This man was listening to Paul as he spoke, who, when he had fixed his gaze on him and had seen that he had faith to be made well, 10 said with a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he leaped up and began to walk.
11 When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they raised their voice, saying in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have become like men and have come down to us.” 12 And they began calling Barnabas, Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds.(Acts 14: 9-13 NASV)
Immediately after the healing, city residents said Barnabas was the Greek god Zeus and Paul was Hermes. Even the priest from the local Zeus temple brought sacrificial items to Paul and Barnabas.
The source of healing was Jesus, but people believed Paul and Barnabas were the gods who did it. Ironically, even after Paul explained it was God who healed the man, the Lycaonians didn’t believe him (v 18). They wrongly credit the miracle to Zeus and Hermes.
This is what happens in the Catholic church. Faith in Jesus is what causes any miracles that occur, but because of the mixture the miracles are often mistakenly attributed to others such as Mary or even the saints.
In an earlier post, I reported on a dramatic demon possession in Gary, Indiana witnessed by a number of secular professionals. In this case, the children were delivered from their possession by a Catholic priest. The same thing happens. Though Catholics have lots of ritual associated with their deliverance process, beneath it all there must be a fundamental belief in the authority of Jesus, for a deliverance to take place.