Woman with ALS reports healing at Lourdes

Aug. 24, 2009 at 9:35 PM
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TURIN, Italy, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- A woman with a degenerative nerve disease said Monday in Turin, Italy, she no longer needs a wheelchair and can run since visiting a shrine at Lourdes, France.

She visited the Roman Catholic Shrine of St. Bernadette in France Aug. 5 and said she was in a healing bath when she felt a pain in her legs and a voice encouraging her.

''Ever since I came back I have been walking, doing everything normally," Antonia Raco, 50, told ANSA news service.

Raco said she was in a wheelchair for four years. She suffers from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

A resident of a village near the southern Italian city of Potenza, Raco is in Turin to visit a specialist at the prestigious Molinette Hospital. Adriano Chio has been treating Raco since 2006.

''He's the one who'll be able to fully understand what has happened to me," Raco said. "For the moment I'd rather talk about a gift, an act of mercy, rather than a miracle."

Lourdes attracts millions of pilgrims annually, many of them hoping for miraculous cures and healing at the place where Catholics believe the virgin Mary appeared more than 150 years ago to Bernadette Soubirous.

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