Possible ‘miracle’ attributed to St. John Paul II parents’ intercession to be verified
The parents of St. John Paul II, Emilia and Karol Wojtyła, may be the subject of a study on a possible miracle, according to Msgr. Sławomir Oder, postulator of the couple’s beatification cause. In an interview with the Catholic news agency KAI, Msgr. Oder revealed that he had received several reports of miraculous healings connected with the Wojtyłas. He stated that he is currently awaiting medical records for expert review, but did not provide further details on the reported healing.
The beatification process, which is the first step towards sainthood in the Catholic Church, requires the documentation of a candidate’s reputation for holiness, known as “fama sanctitatis,” as well as the documentation of at least one authenticated miracle attributed to the candidate’s intercession. The process begins at the diocesan level, with the gathering of evidence and witness testimonies. If the diocesan phase is successfully completed, the documents are sent to the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, where they are reviewed by theologians and bishops before being presented to the pope. If the pope decides to move forward with the beatification, he issues a decree recognizing the candidate as having practiced heroic virtue and granting them the title “Venerable.”
The final step in the process of being recognized as a saint is canonization, which also requires the documentation of a miracle. Msgr. Oder mentioned that the initial phase of the Wojtyła’s beatification process, which was formally launched in the Archdiocese of Kraków in May 2020, has been “practically completed.” This suggests that the necessary evidence of the couple’s “fama sanctitatis” has been gathered and that the next step will be to investigate any reported miracles.
Emilia Kaczorowska was born in Kraków, southern Poland, in 1884, the fifth of 13 children. In 1906, she married Karol Wojtyła, who was five years older and serving as a soldier in the Austro-Hungarian Army. The couple had three children together. Their first child, Edmund, was born in 1906 and grew up to be a doctor. He died in 1932 after contracting scarlet fever from a patient. A conference in Warsaw earlier this month heard that he could be a candidate for beatification under the “offering of life” category introduced by Pope Francis.
The couple’s second child, Olga Maria, died in infancy in 1916. Their third child, Karol, was born in 1920. Emilia was reportedly advised by a doctor to have an abortion due to her frail health, but she refused. Karol would later serve as pope from 1978 to 2005 and was canonized in 2014.
Emilia worked as a seamstress and died of myocarditis and renal failure on April 13, 1929, in the town of Wadowice, shortly before her younger son’s ninth birthday. Karol senior died on February 18, 1941, in Kraków, which was then under Nazi occupation.
John Paul II would later recall the deep impression his father made on him, stating: “Day after day I was able to observe the austere way in which he lived. By profession he was a soldier and, after my mother’s death, his life became one of constant prayer. Sometimes I would wake up during the night and find my father on his knees, just as I would always see him kneeling in the parish church. We never spoke about a vocation to the priesthood, but his example was in a way my first seminary, a kind of domestic seminary.”
The process of beatification and canonization in the Catholic Church is a lengthy and thorough one, designed to ensure that only those who have lived lives of exceptional holiness and virtue are recognized as saints. While the investigation into the alleged miracle attributed to the intercession of Emilia and Karol Wojtyła is just one step in the process, it is an important one. If the reported miracle is deemed authentic, it could be a significant factor in the couple’s eventual beatification and, ultimately, canonization.
It is worth noting that the investigation into the alleged miracle is being conducted by experts, who will carefully review the medical records and other relevant evidence to determine the authenticity of the miracle. This process is designed to be objective and unbiased, with the goal of ensuring that only those who truly deserve to be recognized as saints are elevated to that status.
The beatification and canonization process is not only about recognizing the holiness of individual Catholics, but also about providing role models and inspiration for the faithful. By studying the lives of Emilia and Karol Wojtyła, Catholics around the world can learn about the virtues that these two individuals exemplified and strive to emulate them in their own lives. If the couple is ultimately recognized as saints, it will be a testament to their ability to inspire others to live lives of faith and holiness, even in the face of adversity.
Overall, the investigation into the alleged miracle attributed to the intercession of Emilia and Karol Wojtyła is an important step in the process of recognizing these two individuals as saints in the Catholic Church. While the outcome of the investigation is not yet known, it is clear that these two individuals have left a lasting legacy of faith and holiness that continues to inspire Catholics around the world.