Lockport woman credits JPII with miracle

April 28, 2011 3:32:18 PM PDT
John Paul II's beatification on Sunday in Rome is one step in the process to make the late pope a saint.

Another element toward sainthood is showing that Pope John Paul performed two miracles. A suburban woman says her recovery from an eye problem may be one of them.

Shortly after becoming pope, John Paul II visited Chicago's Grant Park for a Mass more than 30 years ago. It was the only time Mary Kern got a chance to see him in person. But she credits him with performing the miracle that saved her eyesight. She plans on watching all the coverage this weekend of his beatification at the Vatican.

"He touched my life in the most fantastic way. I say to myself every day that I don't feel worthy," said Kern.

It's been two years since Kern says she was miraculously cured from a rarecondition that caused her eyelids to spasm and close for minutes at a time without warning. There is no cure. But she says she prayed to God and the pope, who died in 2005, every day.

Catholics often pray to saints and Kern believes the pope will be granted sainthood some day. She has petitioned the Vatican to recognize her miracle, something that could factor into his sainthood.

"There is no doubt in my mind that she has been cured by the intervention of John Paul with the Lord," said Harold Kern, husband.

Mary and Harold Kern visited Rome and the Vatican a few years ago. They wanted to be there for John Paul's beatification ceremony Sunday but were unable to work it out.

"If he becomes a saint in my lifetime, I will definitely be thereabout. Definitely. I don't care if they have to carry me on my death bed, I will be thereabout," said Mary Kern.

Kern says at her fellow parishioners at St. Denis in Lockport are strong believers in prayer and healing. And she says regardless of whether the Vatican recognizes what she believes was her miracle, it won't affect her faith.