The Miracles for the Beatification and Canonisation of St. Paul of the Cross
The first miracle for the Beatification of St. Paul of the Cross was the cure of a little boy, which was performed in 1816, forty-one years after the death of the Saint. His father was a surgeon, and he and others of the same profession judged the child, who was just seven years of age, to be beyond the reach of medical art. Aneurism, fever, and a complication of other ailments brought him to deaths door; a consultation of physicians ended in the decision that nothing could be done for him. The sorrowing parents looked upon their boy in the last agony, and had to change their sobs into a few broken remarks about the preparation for his funeral. There lay the child, cadaverous, helpless, agonizing, unable to speak, move, or understand. Suddenly the father, caught between despair and hope, recollected himself and through an inspiration of God (one can assume) he recalled that he had a bit of Father Paul’s habit in the house. Quickly retrieving it, they gave him a tiny morsel in a drop of water, which, with much difficulty, they managed to introduce between his clenched teeth. In a moment he was well, arose, called for strong food, and was perfectly recovered.
The second was the cure of a cancer in the breast of a modest young woman who would rather die than undergo an operation which was judged necessary by her physicians. She wore a piece of the habit of the venerable Father Paul on her breast, and recited for several days, three Our Fathers and Hail Marys to the Blessed Trinity, in thanksgiving for the graces bestowed upon the servant of God, as it was not then quite lawful to invoke his direct intercession-at least publicly. One day, while saying these prayers in the church, she found a thrilling sensation all over her, which made her imagine her end approached. On recovering from her fright she found herself perfectly cured. This extraordinary miracle happened in November, 1844.
These miracles, with the other evidences of his sanctity, closed the case for the Beatification.
From the numerous prodigies which were wrought through the blessed Paul’s intercession since the solemn declaration Beautification in 1853, two were selected for the cause of the Canonization.
The first of these was a cure wrought upon a certain Rose d’Alena, similar to the second recorded above, with the slight difference that she was on her way to the surgeon’s to submit to the operation when she accidentally turned into one of our churches, and prayed there before the image of blessed Paul. She decided to have a Mass celebrated in his honour at that very moment, and before the end of the Mass the cure was suddenly and perfectly accomplished. This happened in 1858.
The second miracle was the multiplication of corn effected in S. Angelo, near Vetralla, through the Saint’s intercession, in 1854. The religious of this Retreat found that their supply of corn would not carry them to the summer, and that a bad harvest made it unlikely that begging could succeed in supplying their needs. The brother asked the Rector if he should continue to give the usual alms to the poor, and was told that he should. The provincial then told them to have recourse to our blessed founder; they said prayers in his honour every day, and some of them before the door of the granary measured the corn, and after having fed thirty-six religions and a multitude of visitors and poor for several months, there was more corn found in the storehouse than had been at the beginning. A multitude of people came to have their devotion gratified by a little of the miraculous grain when the miracle became known. The satisfying of their devotion seemed to increase the heap, and it went on thus until the harvest-time.
[Source – www.saintpaulofthecross.com]
[Photo: Some of the miraculous grain still preserved from 1854 at the Passionist Monastery near Vetralla Italy]