On the day we remember the saint who doubted, a story from the Vatican notes that many in the mission country he visited are reportedly experiencing miraculous cures that are helping lead them to faith:
Strange things are going on in the Indian diocese ofItangar and Mgr. John Kattrukudiyl spoke about them during a visit to Germany for the periodic meeting organised by Aid to the Church in Need, the international organisation that deals with churches and Christians in countries where they face the greatest difficulties.
According to the prelate, the numerous unexplained healings which preceded and resulted from prayer, are the main reason for this extraordinary increase in Catholics - 40% over 35 years – in this remote corner of India. The bishop is informed of things like this on a regular basis; and the stories “baffle me. I have a theological mindset and it is easy to become sceptical about this kind of thing. But the interested parties are absolutely convinced that what happened to them was real.”
The prelate mentioned the case of a man who stopped persecuting the Catholic Church after he married a Catholic girl. “After converting to Catholicism he was asked to pray for a paralytic. He did it even though he did not want to; the next day, the paralytic rose and walked towards the church.” The newly converted man was so shocked by this miraculous experience that he started attending mass and “is now a very active member of the parish.”
Mgr. Kattrukudiyl is well aware of the scepticism with which most of these miracles are met; when he describes miracles that have taken place people in Europe sometimes say: “Hey, bishop, you’re telling tales.” But despite the incredulity “I am told about many cases of healing which we cannot ignore.”
One possible historical- theological explanation is the relative freshness of the local church. “It is the experience of a very young Church that feels the grace of the Catholic Church in the times of the apostles,” when healing miracles were frequent, as the Scriptures tell us.