Romero’s miracle for canonization: Healing a woman of a life-threatening condition

A young woman holds an image of Blessed Oscar Romero during a March 7 procession in his honor in San Salvador, El Salvador. Pope Francis has cleared the way for the canonization of Blessed Romero, who was shot and killed March 24, 1980, as he celebrated Mass. (CNS photo/Rodrigo Sura, EPA)

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Though church authorities in El Salvador said they would wait to give more details of a Vatican-approved miracle that has cleared the way for the canonization of Blessed Oscar Romero, a Salvadoran newspaper March 8 published an account of a 35-year-old woman who said her husband's prayer asking for the intercession of Blessed Romero saved her life.

The newspaper El Diario de Hoy, which publishes the online version ElSalvador.com, said a woman named Cecilia in August 2015 had been having problems with her pregnancy. After she gave birth, she was diagnosed with HELLP syndrome, a life-threatening condition that affects some pregnant women and damages the liver.

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The newspaper story said a doctor told Cecilia's husband that her liver and a kidney were damaged and, "if you believe in something, in a god, (pray) for her because the way she is, it's likely that she'll die." 

HELLP is an abbreviation of the three main features of the syndrome: hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelet count.

The husband went home to pray, opened a Bible his grandmother had given him, saw a card with Blessed Romero's image in it, and even though he'd had an "aversion" to his grandmother's prayers to the slain Salvadoran archbishop, he prayed for his intercession, the story said.

Though Cecilia had slipped into a coma, she awoke Sept. 10 and made a full recovery, the newspaper said.

The couple told the newspaper they knew it was a miracle and decided not to tell anyone about it but eventually confided in their pastor, who secured the documentation to send to the Vatican. On March 7, the Vatican announced that the decree approving a miracle attributed to Blessed Romero's intercession had been approved.

Blessed Romero was assassinated March 24, 1980, as he celebrated Mass following several public denunciations of violence against civilians in the Central America nation. He had spoken out against  injustice toward the poor that was leading to a conflict that would last 12 years and leave more than 70,000 dead. He was beatified May 23, 2015.

At a meeting March 6 with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, Pope Francis formally signed the decree recognizing the miracle needed to advance the sainthood cause of Blessed Romero. No date has been announced for his canonization.

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