(The following Miracles were approved by the Vatican for the Canonization of Bishop Neumann)
EVA BENASSI, an eleven-year-old girl who lived in the town of Sassuolo near Milan, in northern Italy, was a boarding student at the local Institute of St. Joseph. It was in May, 1923; Eva seemed drowsy during study time, had headaches, abdominal pains and fever. The doctor, Louis Barbante, prescribed medicine, and when the girl grew worse he diagnosed the case as tubercular peritonitis. The disease grew progressively worse. She became weaker and weaker. The priest prepared her for death. The physician told the relatives and attendants that death was imminent, foreseeable in the course of that night. Sister Elizabeth had the community and the girl pray for a cure through the intercession of Bishop Neumann. A picture of Bishop Neumann, to which was attributed the cure of Eva's father previously, was applied to her. This happened between 8 and 9 o'clock Monday evening. That night all symptoms disappeared. When her doctor visited her in the morning he found a patient of whose death he had expected to hear cured without any signs of peritonitis. Nine doctors of the Sacred Congregation of Rites decided after a long investigation that the correct diagnosis was acute diffused peritonitis. The Vatican Medical College stated that Eva's cure was instantaneous, perfect, lasting, and, "naturally unexplainable."
J. KENT LENAHAN, JR., of Villanova, Pa., a music teacher and band leader, on the evening of July 8, 1949, was crushed in an automobile accident between the car and a utility pole and then hurled to the ground. He was rushed to the hospital, his skull crushed. One eye almost jarred out of its socket by the force of the blow hung over his cheek-bone, and he was bleeding copiously from ears, nose and mouth. For four days the youth hung between life and death. A rib fractured in the accident had torn a gaping hole in one lung. His condition was considered so hopeless that these items were not even detailed in the hospital record. His fever rose to 107 degrees and his pulse was 160. All hope for his recovery was abandoned. His parents had secured a portion of the cassock of Bishop Neumann which they brought to the hospital and applied to their apparently dying son. Within a few hours his temperature had dropped to 100 degrees and his pulse rate was nearly normal. Soon the entire hospital building was buzzing with amazing news of Kent's recovery. In a few days his numerous injuries were well on their way towards complete healing. Five weeks after the accident he walked unaided form the hospital. Within a couple of weeks he was out mowing the front lawn and soon was back playing his trumpet, and at his hobby, lifting weights.
MICHAEL FLANIGAN, a six-year-old boy from West Philadelphia, after undergoing months of treatment for osteomyelitis (a bone inflation) was found in July of 1963 to have Ewing's Sarcoma, a usually lethal form of bone cancer. Doctors gave Michael six months to live. The cancer, virtually incurable when it spreads beyond the initial diseased area, had spread from the youth's right tibia to his jaw and lungs. When doctors notified Michael's parents that their son had virtually no chance of recovering from the disease, Mr. and Mrs. John Flanigan decided to take Michael to the Bishop Neumann Shrine at St. Peter's Church, 5th St. and Girard Ave. After several visits to the Shrine, Michael began to make a dramatic recovery. No signs of cancer were found in this jaw and lungs by October, 1963. By Christmas, 1963, when Michael was supposed to be dead or close to death, all signs of Ewing's Sarcoma had vanished. In December, 1975, after a final examination of Michael's medical records, the Medical Board of the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints declared that Michael Flanigan's cure was"scientifically and medically unexplainable," and attributed it to the intercession of Bishop Neumann. It was this miracle which paved the way toward sainthood for the Philadelphia Bishop.
PRAYER FOR HIS INTERCESSION
O Saint John Neumann, your ardent desire of bringing all souls to Christ impelled you to leave home and country; teach us to live worthily in the spirit of our Baptism which makes us all children of the one Heavenly Father and brothers of Jesus Christ, the first-born of the family of God.
Obtain for us that complete dedication in the service of the needy, the weak, the afflicted and the abandoned which so characterized your life. Help us to walk perseveringly in the difficult and, at times, painful paths of duty, strengthened by the Body and Blood of our Redeemer and under the watchful protection of Mary our Mother.
May death still find us on the sure road to our Father's house with the light of living Faith in our hearts. Amen.
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National Shrine of St. John Neumann
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