Doctors decided they couldn’t operate because the area was inaccessible.
‘‘With an open operation or an endovascular intervention, the risk to Floribeth would have been to die or be left with a significant neurological deficit,’’ her doctor, Dr. Alejandro Vargas, told reporters.
She was sent home with painkillers.
‘‘I returned home with the fear that I was going to die,’’ Mora said.
Nevertheless, a few days later, she insisted on participating in a religious procession during which she said she received a sign that she would be healed. The family decided to build a shrine to John Paul outside their home: a colorful altar with a photo of the late pope next to a statue of the Madonna and surrounded by flowers, candles and Christmas lights.
On the day John Paul was beatified, May 1, 2011, Mora said she insisted on watching the Mass, which drew some 1.5 million people to St. Peter’s Square and the streets around it.
‘‘I contemplated the photo of the Holy Father with his arms extended and I fixed my eyes on him,’’ she said. ‘‘In this moment, I heard a voice tell me ‘get up, don’t be afraid,’ and I could only say ‘Yes, I'm going to get up.'’’
She said her family was shocked to see her get out of bed. ‘‘I was afraid to tell my husband, because he was going to think I was crazy or on drugs. But I got up from bed, and I am here before you, healthy,’’ she said.
Medical tests confirmed that the aneurism had disappeared, Vargas said. ‘‘It’s the first time I've seen anything like it,’’ he said, showing the before and after images of the hemorrhage.
John Paul, who was pope from 1978-2005, revolutionized the papacy, traveling the world and inspiring a generation of young Catholics to be excited about their faith. He was the first Polish pope and the first non-Italian in 455 years — a legacy that continued with the German-born Benedict XVI and Argentine Francis.
John XXIII, dubbed the ‘‘good pope’’ for his affable nature, is best known for having convened Vatican II, sensing that the time was ripe for a renewal of the church. But he has fallen from favor among conservatives who blame Vatican II for the church’s problems today.
Benedict spent much of his pontificate trying to correct what he considered wrong interpretations of Vatican II, insisting it wasn’t the break from the past that liberals believed.
While not disagreeing outright with Benedict, Francis seems to take a more progressive read of Vatican II and its call to go out into the world and spread the faith — a priority he has shown in the first months of his pontificate.
The two living popes, however, clearly get along.
‘‘Your holiness, good day and thank you!’’ Francis beamed on Friday as he greeted Benedict in the Vatican gardens for the unveiling of the statue. Benedict, 86, appeared in good form, walking slowly but on his own and greeting well-wishers.
The Vatican’s complicated saint-making procedure requires that the Vatican certify a ‘‘miracle’’ was performed through the intercession of the candidate — a medically inexplicable cure that is lasting, immediate and can be directly linked to the prayers offered by the faithful. One miracle is needed for beatification, a second for canonization.
Benedict put John Paul on the fast track for possible sainthood when he dispensed with the traditional five-year waiting period and allowed the beatification process to begin weeks after his John Paul’s death. Benedict was responding to chants of ‘‘Santo Subito!’’ or ‘‘Sainthood Immediately’’ which erupted during John Paul’s funeral.
There has been some concern that the process has been too quick. Some of the Holy See’s deep-seated problems — clerical sex abuse, dysfunctional governance and more recently the financial scandals at the Vatican bank — essentially date from shortcomings of his pontificate.
Thus the decision to canonize John Paul along with John XXIII can be seen as trying to balance those concerns, as well as the shortcomings of each pope.
Such was the case in 2000, when John Paul beatified John XXIII, dubbed the ‘‘good pope,’’ alongside Pope Pius IX, who was criticized by Jews for condoning the seizure of a Jewish boy and allegedly referring to Jews as dogs.
As soon as the announcement was made, John Paul’s critics came out: Juan Vaca, one of the victims of notorious pedophile priest the Rev. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legion of Christ religious order, said the decision to canonize John Paul was ‘‘appalling and shocking’’ given the thousands of victims of sex abuse who were ignored under his 27-year pontificate.Continued...