Sister Marie Simon-Pierre on Her Cure From Parkinson
"It Feels As if I Have Been Reborn"
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ROME, APRIL 30, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the testimony of Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, religious of the Congregation of the Little Sisters of Catholic Motherhood, regarding her miraculous cure from Parkinson's that she attributes to the intercession of Pope John Paul II.
The testimony, written in 2006, formed part of John Paul II's cause for beatification, which will conclude Sunday.
Reports of medical and legal experts on the French nun's healing were submitted to the dicastery for scientific examination last October. The phenomenon was recognized by the Vatican as a miracle attributed to the intercession of John Paul II in January.
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In June 2001, I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. The disease had affected the whole left side of my body, creating great difficulties for me as I am left-handed. After three years, the initial phase of the disease, slow but progressive, was followed by an aggravation of the symptoms: accentuation of the trembling, rigidity, pain, insomnia.
From April 2, 2005, I began to worsen week by week, I grew worse day by day, I was unable to write (I repeat that I am left-handed), and if I attempted it, what I wrote was unintelligible. I could drive only for short trips because my left leg would stiffen sometimes, and my rigidity would have impeded my driving. Moreover, to do my work in a hospital, it took more time than usual. I was exhausted.
After learning my diagnosis, it was difficult for me to watch John Paul II on television. However, I felt very close to him in prayer and I knew he could understand what I was going through. I also admired his strength and courage, which motivated me not to give in and to love this suffering, because without love none of this made sense. I can say that it was a daily struggle, but my only wish was to live it with faith and in loving adherence to the will of the Father.
At Easter (2005) I wanted to watch our Holy Father on television because I knew, in my deepest self, that it would be the last time. I prepared myself the whole morning for this "meeting" knowing that it would be very difficult for me, as it would make me see how I would be in a few years. It was even harder for me being relatively young. However, an unexpected service impeded my seeing him.
On the afternoon of April 2, the whole community gathered to take part in the Vigil of Prayer in St. Peter's Square, broadcasted live by the French television of the Diocese of Paris (KTO) ... All of us together heard the announcement of John Paul II's death. At that moment, the world caved in on me. I had lost the friend who understood me and who gave me the strength to keep going. In the following days, I had the sensation of an enormous void, but also the certainty of his living presence.
On May 13, feast of Our Lady of Fatima, Benedict XVI announced the special dispensation to initiate the cause of beatification of John Paul II. Beginning the following day, the sisters of all the French and African communities began to pray for my cure through the intercession of John Paul II. They prayed incessantly until the news arrived of my cure.
At that time I was on vacation. On May 26, my time of rest being at an end, I returned totally exhausted by the disease. "If you believe, you will see the glory of God": this phrase of St. John's Gospel accompanied me from May 14 onward.
On June 1, I was finished; I struggled to stand and to walk. On June 2 in the afternoon, I went to find my superior to ask her if I could leave my work. She encouraged me to endure a bit longer until my return from Lourdes in August, and she added: "John Paul II has not yet said his last word" (John Paul II was surely there, in that meeting which passed in serenity and peace). Then, Mother Superior gave me a pen and told me to write: "John Paul II." It was 5 o'clock in the afternoon. With effort, I wrote: "John Paul II." We remained in silence before the illegible letters, then the day continued as usual.
At the end of the evening prayer, at 9 o'clock at night, I went to my office before going to my room. I felt the need to pick up the pen and to write, just as if someone within me was saying: "Pick up the pen and write." It was between 9:30 and 9:40 at night. To my great surprise I saw that the writing was clearly legible. Not understanding anything, I went to bed. Two months exactly had gone by since John Paul II's departure to the House of the Father. I woke up at 4:30 a.m., surprised that I was able to sleep and I leapt out of bed: my body was no longer insensitive, rigid, and interiorly I was not the same.
Then, I felt an interior call and the strong impulse to go to pray before the Most Blessed Sacrament. I went down to the Oratory and prayed before the Most Blessed Sacrament. I felt a profound peace and a sensation of well-being; too great an experience, a mystery difficult to explain with words.
Later, before the Most Blessed Sacrament, I meditated on John Paul II's Mysteries of Light. At 6 o'clock in the morning, I went out to meet with the sisters in the chapel for a time of prayer, which was followed by the Eucharistic celebration.
I had to walk some 50 meters and at that very moment I realized that, as I walked, my left arm was moving, it was not immobile next to my body. I also felt a physical lightness and agility that I had not felt for a long time.
During the Eucharistic celebration I was full of joy and peace; it was June 3, feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Coming out from Holy Mass, I was sure of my cure; my hand did not shake any more. I went to write again and at midday I stopped taking my medicines.
On June 7, as planned, I went to my neurologist, my doctor for the past four years. He was also surprised to see the disappearance of all the symptoms of the disease, despite my having interrupted the treatment five days earlier. The next day the Superior General entrusted an act of thanksgiving to all our communities, and the entire congregation began a thanksgiving novena to John Paul II.
Ten months have passed now since I interrupted all types of treatment. I am working normally again, I have no difficulty in writing and I also drive long distances. It feels as if I have been reborn: a new life, because nothing is as it was before.
Today I can say that my friend has left our earth, but is now much closer to my heart. He has made the desire grow in me of adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament and love of the Eucharist, which have a priority place in my daily life.
What the Lord has granted me through the intercession of John Paul II is a great mystery difficult to explain with words -- something very great and profound -- but nothing is impossible for God.
Yes. "If you believe, you will see the glory of God."
[Translation by ZENIT]