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Mystery nun holds sainthood key

2007-03-27 18:10

Rome - The French nun whose recovery from Parkinson's disease is a key part of Pope John Paul II's sainthood cause is expected to be in Rome next week for ceremonies marking the second anniversary of the pontiff's death, said Catholic Church officials on Tuesday.

The identity of the nun, who was inexplicably cured after praying to John Paul, has been a closely guarded secret since church officials announced that her case was being studied as the possible miracle needed for the late pope to be beatified - the last formal step before possible sainthood.

The nun will attend a ceremony April 2, the anniversary of John Paul's death, marking the close of the investigation into the pope's life that has been carried out by the diocese of Rome as part of the church's saint-making process.

Monsignor Slawomir Oder, who has been spearheading the beatification cause, said that the place where the nun lives would be made public on Sunday in an announcement by the French bishop in charge of her diocese.

Oder stressed that there was no guarantee that the nun's name would be made public, but he confirmed that she and the bishop would attend the April 2 ceremony.

Oder has said that the young nun suffered for years from Parkinson's disease, the same illness John Paul had in his late years.

He says she was cured overnight two months after John Paul's death, after she and her fellow sisters prayed for her recovery.

After the April 2 ceremony, Oder will forward the documentation he has gathered to the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints, which will study John Paul's virtues as well as the documentation about the possible miracle, to determine whether the pope can be beatified.