Woman Claims Miracle by Controversial Pope

She says Pope Pius XII intervened with God to cure her cancer
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2011 2:12 PM CDT
Italian Woman Claims Miracle by Controversial Pope Pius XII
In this photo taken in Castellammare di Stabia, near Naples, Italy, on June 23, 2011, Maria Esposito shows a portrait of Pope Pius XII during an interview with the Associated Press.   (AP Photo/Salvatore Laporta)

(Newser) – Pope Pius XII: controversial pope, saint? Possibly. An Italian woman says the World War II-era pope, who many Jews say failed to speak out enough to stop the Holocaust, is behind her miraculous recovery from cancer. Maria Esposito had wasted away to 92 pounds and tells the AP she couldn't bear another dose of chemotherapy in her fight against Stage IV Burkitt's lymphoma. So Esposito prayed to Pius following a dream her husband had in which he says John Paul II appeared to him and showed him a photo of Pius.

The 42-year-old survived, cured after a single, six-week cycle of chemo, a recovery that she says stunned her doctors and convinced her that Pius had intervened with God to save her. But her local bishop essentially closed the case after speaking with two doctors and deciding that the recovery was not medically inexplicable and that a single cycle of chemo could have cured her. But Esposito's supporters, led by Pius' main biographer, have gone over the bishop's head and are sending her full medical file directly to the Vatican's saint-making office. Pope Benedict confirmed that Pius lived a life of "heroic" Christian virtue in December 2009, the first of three steps to sainthood. (Click to read about a Pius-related WikiLeaks revelation.)

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