'It defies medical explanation' - Church confirms the 'healing' of sick woman at Knock
A bishop has said a seriously ill woman was "healed" during a pilgrimage to Knock 30 years ago.
It is the first time the Catholic Church has said a pilgrim was cured at the Marian Shrine.
Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois Francis Duffy said the healing of Marion Carroll "defies medical explanation".
Ms Carroll, from Athlone, Co Westmeath, was aged in her late 30s, wheelchair-bound, incontinent, blind in one eye and partially sighted in the other when she went to Knock in September 1989.
She writes in her book, 'I was Cured at Knock', how her muscles were wasted, her throat and speech were severely affected and she attended Anointing of the Sick in the Basilica in Knock against medical advice.
She told how after receiving a blessing, she stepped, pain free, from her stretcher.
Speaking in Knock yesterday, Bishop Duffy said: "I recognise that Marion was healed from her long-standing illness while on pilg- rimage in this sacred place.
"Marion's healing is life-changing. Many have attested to the dramatic change that came about in Marion here and on her return to Athlone in 1989.
"It is also a healing for which there is no medical explanation at present, it is definite and yet defies medical explanation."
In her book, Ms Carroll writes about getting "this beautiful, magnificent feeling telling me that if the stretcher was opened I could get up and walk".
Also speaking in Knock, Archbishop of Tuam Dr Michael Neary said: "Today the Church formally acknowledges that this healing does not admit of any medical explanation and joins in prayer, praise and thanksgiving to God.
"In these situations the Church must always be very cautious. This is illustrated by the fact that 30 years have elapsed since this took place, during which time the examination by the Medical Bureau (at the Knock shrine) testifies that there is no medical explanation for this healing."