Religious miracles that can’t be explained: American writer Stuart Chase once wrote, “For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.” And while there is much truth behind the quote, the reality remains that it is human nature to always seek proof to validate our beliefs.
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In the case of seeking proof for miracles, the irony is that we search for scientifically verifiable evidence for perceptible intercessions by God even when these occurrences are themselves scientifically inexplicable.
The Catholic Church, for example, while acknowledging that miracles are beyond the scope of science, still maintains very stringent requirements for the validation of miracles. This process is overseen by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, a body within the Church that assesses the validity of miracles for the purpose of declaring the sainthood of individuals. Currently, the Congregation classifies miracles into three groups: resurrection from the dead (quoad substantiam), the curing of an incurable disease (quoad subiectum), and the curing of a disease within an impossibly short period of time (quoad modum). However, in the process of verifying these three types of miracles, the Church has also recognized related inexplicable events — including apparitions of God or the Virgin Mary — as miracles themselves.
Here are ten astounding events that have been recognized or are currently being investigated as genuine miracles:
10. Man’s Amputated Leg Is Restored Instantaneously
In 1637, a 20-year-old agricultural laborer from Calanda, Miguel Juan Pellicer, fell off from a cartwheel he was steering and severely injured his right leg. He was treated at a hospital in Valencia, but insisted that he wanted to receive treatment at the Our Lady of the Pillar Hospital because he was a devotee of the Lady. When Miguel Juan arrived at the hospital after the 50-day journey, the doctors decided to amputate his leg because it was “very phlegmonous and gangrenous,” almost appearing black. Throughout the crude procedure, Pellicer unceasingly called on the Virgin of Pillar to aid him. Upon recovery, he resorted to begging but continued to rub his stump with oil while he prayed for Mary’s intercession. He got his answer on the evening of March 29, 1640. As Miguel Juan slept, his parents saw that his leg had been fully restored, and when he woke up, Pellicer claimed that he had dreamt of the Virgin rubbing his leg with oil. The case was thoroughly investigated and thereafter declared a miracle.