This is the miraculous event that made Pope John Paul II a saint, as described in the article entitled 'Costa Rican woman who elevated the Pope to sainthood: "Praying to John Paul II saved me''':

Floribeth Mora Díaz was told there was no hope. Taken to hospital in Costa Rica, she was devastated to discover that her persistent headaches were the result of an aneurysm in the brain. The doctors said her days were numbered. [...] 

Alejandro Vargas Román, the neurosurgeon who treated Mrs Mora, is convinced that her recovery is the result of divine intervention.

"Of course it's true," he told Costa Rican newspaper La Nacion. "I am a Catholic, and as a doctor with many years of experience I do believe in miracles. No one has been able to provide a medical explanation for what happened."

Mr Román was questioned by Vatican authorities in San Jose, who concluded that she was saved by a miracle.

"I talked to the priests, but maybe they were specialised in something," he said. "They weren't doctors; they were theologians or lawyers, so my role was that of medical investigation."

But he is adamant that the science is sound.

"We have to remember that the arteriography [images of the blood vessels] was seen by various people within this hospital, and also shared at a symposium in Mexico. The images are stored here. Any person who needs to see the studies; they are here," he said. 

From another source:

"The neurosurgeon who admitted and diagnosed Mora, however, denies he gave her a month to live. Alejandro Vargas says he forecast only a 2 percent chance Mora could bleed into her brain again within a year of her diagnosis, possibly killing her. 

"She was sent home with medication that would reduce her blood pressure and was advised to improve her diet so as not to raise her cholesterol levels and thus decrease the chance of her having a second bleeding episode. She was sedated because the headaches were too sharp," he told Reuters. "We didn't send her home to be sedated and wait until she died in her sleep."

Thus, the God of the Gaps reigns supreme. Find a pocket of ignorance, add religion, some wild exaggeration, bake for 2 minutes, and God appears.

Crackpot: How do you explain X?
Me: I can't.
Crackpot: See? God did it. It's the ONLY explanation! The science is sound!

Tags: II, John, Paul, Pope, miracles, saints

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I wonder if his body will end up on display. Sooooo creepy. I can't believe I was part of that cult.

I wonder if his body will end up on display. Sooooo creepy. I can't believe I was part of that cult.

Apparently, there are "classes" of holy relics.

First Class: Physical remains such as skulls or limbs.
Second Class: Objects worn or frequently used such as a ski jacket.
Third Class: Any object that touches a first or second class relic. 
Fourth Class: Any bodily excretion, such as a petrified turd in a jar.

Okay, I'm kidding about 'fourth class'. But if it were the real deal, would it be any less grotesque than 'first class' or any less stupid than 'second class'? And I won't call 'third class' stupid because that would be an insult to stupidity: they manufacture holy relics by touching them together.

Crackpot: "Step right in folks! See the holiest holy relic of Saint John Paul II! I guarantee you, in his final years, he used no item more frequently!"

Michael Jackson's glove sells for $350K

Replica mummy bodies on display

Seems this kind of collecting of relics is a general human trait, from displays of the striped suit George Harrison wore in his 1966 US tour ("Step right in, folks, to the Rock & Roll Hall of fame in Cleveland"), to the U.S. practice of gathering at grave sites for Memorial Day.  Including things like the display of Civil War general's shattered legbones (

It's an interesting phenomenon.  To quote from Hitchhiker's ... "mostly harmless."

Michael Jackson's glove sells for $350K

We're not talking about celebrity collectables and museum pieces here. A holy relic is "holy", Robert. Holy as in divine; having a quality that proceeds directly from God.

Apparently holiness spreads like radioactive contamination. Rub an object against a Class one relic and that one gets holyed up as well. 

It's an interesting phenomenon.  To quote from Hitchhiker's ... "mostly harmless."

Superstition is not harmless.

To quote from Michael Levy: "Never be frightened to take a profit. Better in your pocket then theirs."

Ah, telling us what we're supposed to believe again, I see.  For a fellow who's not religious, you certainly have a lot of energy invested in our supposed beliefs. ;-)

I'm not sure why you think religious folks are any less human than the rest of homo sapiens.  Collecting relics of celebrities or heroes is a part of that.  Autographed baseball cards, and then reproduced/printed baseball cards.  One may be more unique, one more of a knock-off.  Both help remind us of the player and his stats.

Ah, telling us what we're supposed to believe again, I see.  For a fellow who's not religious, you certainly have a lot of energy invested in our supposed beliefs. ;-)

Well, that's your standard dodge, Robert. When the stupid stuff gets too embarrassing: deny it. Previously it was papal infallibility. This time it's holy relics. 

So holy relics are not holy. Holy does not mean having a quality that proceeds directly from God.

To the billions of faithful Christians throughout the ages, the shroud of Turin is just another collectable. You know, like the rhinestone suits Elvis wore!

Is that it, Robert?

You win!  You said the magic word.  The duck (the Holy Duck) is going to drop down and give you $100.  (sorry about the Groucho reference, I'm old)

Seriously, I think we should get back into the business of selling indulgences.  There is such a willing customer base out there that will buy anything.  If they don't work, chances are the customer isn't going to demand their money back.  Relics are a good line to market.  I have a lot of old boards lying around.  We could sell splinters and say they were from the cross on Calvary.   Have to admit those clerics from the Middle Ages had things figured out, especially when it comes to profiting from ignorance.  

If a miracle occurs in the forest and nobody is there to witness it, is it still a miracle? 

I heard coverage of it on the national TV station in Ireland today. The “religious affairs” reporter was smiling like a Cheshire cat on “E”. It was vomit inducing. This will be headline news for weeks to come. This is more than delusional. They are F&%$ing nuts!! Some days I have to ask myself if I am part of the same species as them. I think I am partly a “transitional form” to a new species of human as I have nothing in common with them anymore. They appear alien to me and I am losing any remaining interest I had in communicating with them. If I was in a room with 10,000 of those fawning sheep I would be right and every one of them wrong.  Not a hint of intelligence from any of them as they gape at the sky mumbling their ritual nursery rhymes and counting them off on beads. I almost feel embarrassed for them. How so many adult members of my society can be so gullible is bewildering. Most days I can let it pass but they are everywhere at the moment flapping around in a frenzy about their papa.

@Reg - I felt your post deserved an appropriate illustration :)

Why Thank you Thank you Thank you. :-). I feel so much better now. Cats in command.

I have probably said this before but it was so strange to me I have to say it again.  I worked with a Carmelite nun who needed to be engaged in activities to stay out of bed as she recovered from a fractured hip.  We wound up finding ONLINE ROSARY!  She fell asleep repeatedly, and I was basically rendered lethargic myself.  

Just imagine - the power of the internet to bore the masses.


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