Danila Castelli
Danila Castelli

Cured of a tumour and extreme high blood pressure in Lourdes

In 1858, Mary appeared to the French girl Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes in the Massabielle grotto and conveyed to her the message about the importance of prayer and the conversion of people to God. As part of the apparitions, a spring began to bubble up in the grotto and the first healings soon occurred there. Lourdes then developed into a place where desperate and sick people flocked to find comfort and spiritual healing and to rediscover prayer for themselves.  

In addition, there are always inexplicable healings of even the most serious and incurable illnesses in Lourdes. Thus, there are already more than 7,000 registered extraordinary healings that have happened in prayer and in connection with the water of the grotto. Of these, about 2,500 have been classified as "extramedical" by the International Medical Council, which means that they cannot be explained scientifically at present. Such healings must be medically documented beyond doubt, happen spontaneously, and be complete and permanent. These include, for example, bone fractures that healed instantly, complete healing of multiple sclerosis or malignant tumours that spontaneously disappeared completely. Of these extramedical healings, the Church has so far recognised 70 as miracles. The recognitions usually take place a long time after the healing, in order to be able to exclude relapses of the diseases.

Mrs Danila Castelli experienced a healing in the waters of Lourdes which has been recognised by the Church as the sixty-ninth miraculous healing of Lourdes.

Born on 16 January 1946, Mrs Danila Castelli led a normal life until the age of 34. Then she began to suffer from spontaneously occurring serious attacks of high blood pressure. In 1982, she was diagnosed with a uterine tumour during X-ray and ultrasound examinations. Mrs Castelli then had her uterus and ovaries removed. In November 1982, she also had to have part of her pancreas removed. The following year, a scintigraphy also revealed a tumour (pheochromocytoma) in the rectum, bladder and vagina. Until 1988, several operations were performed without success in the hope of eliminating the causes of the hypertension attacks.

Mrs Castelli knew that her life would soon come to an end and made a pilgrimage to Lourdes in May 1989. When she was immersed in the bath at the Grotte Massabielle on 4 May, she experienced an extraordinary sense of well-being, which turned out to be a complete cure for all her ailments.  She then communicated her sudden cure to the medical office of Lourdes.  After appropriate investigations and five meetings of the experts accredited there in 1989, 1992, 1994, 1997 and 2010, it was unanimously stated by this institution in a formal vote: "Mrs Danila Castelli has been completely and permanently cured of the syndrome from which she suffered for nine years since her pilgrimage to Lourdes 21 years ago in 1989, regardless of the operations and the treatments." The "Comité Médical International de Lourdes" last confirmed in its meeting of 19 November 2011 in Paris "that the nature of her cure remains unexplained at the present state of scientific knowledge".  Subsequently, on 20 June 2013, Bishop Giovanni Giudici of the diocese of Pavia, where Mrs Danila Castelli lives, confirmed the "extraordinary-miraculous" character and value of the "sign" of this healing.