It appears the Associated Press believes too! Case closed!
Brazilian boy’s survival of brain injury is Fatima ‘miracle’
Associated PressARMANDO FRANCA AP
Joao Batista, left, and Lucila Yurie, from Brazil, deliver a statement at the Fatima Sanctuary on Thursday in Fatima, Portugal. Batista and Yuri are the parents of a boy whose surprise recovery from a brain injury was used by the Vatican to make two Portuguese children saints.
ARMANDO FRANCA AP A pilgrim carrying white roses wears a T-shirt with an image of Our Lady of Fatima and Pope Francis on Thursday at the Fatima Sanctuary.
The parents of a Brazilian boy whose recovery from a severe brain injury is being cited by the Vatican as the “miracle” needed to canonize two Portuguese children broke their silence Thursday to share the story.
Joao Baptista and his wife, Lucila Yurie, appeared before reporters at the Catholic shrine in Fatima, Portugal, on the eve of Pope Francis’ arrival. Francis will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the so-called Fatima visions of the Virgin Mary by canonizing two of the three Portuguese children who experienced them.
The “miracle” required for the canonization concerns the case of little Lucas Baptista, whose story has to date been shrouded in secrecy.
His father said Thursday that in 2013, when Lucas was 5 years old, the boy fell 21 feet from a window at the family’s home in Brazil while playing with his infant sister, Eduarda.
The ambulance to the hospital took an hour, and when Lucas arrived he was in a coma and had suffered two heart attacks, Baptista said. During emergency surgery, doctors diagnosed a severe traumatic brain injury and a “loss of brain material” from the child’s frontal lobe.
Doctors said Lucas had little chance of survival, and if he did live, would be severely mentally disabled or even in a vegetative state, the father recalled.
Baptista said he and his wife, as well as Brazilian Carmelite nuns, prayed to the late shepherd children who said the Virgin Mary appeared to them in “visions” in 1917. Two of those children, siblings Francisco and Jacinta Marto, will become the Catholic Church’s youngest-ever non-martyred saints on Saturday.
The third child, Lucia dos Santos, Francisco and Jacinta’s cousin, became a Carmelite nun. Efforts are underway to beatify her, too, but couldn’t begin until after she died in 2005.
Joao Baptista said doctors removed tubes from his son six days after Lucas’ fall.
“He was fine when he woke up, lucid, and started talking, asking for his little sister,” Baptista said. After another six days, Lucas was released from the hospital.
“He’s completely fine … with no after-effects. Lucas is just like he was before the accident,” his father said. “The doctors … said they couldn’t explain his recovery.”
Journalists were not allowed to ask questions.
Sister Angela Coelho, the Portuguese postulator who led the project to canonize the shepherd children, said her office was informed of the Brazil story about three months after it happened.
She said officials had to wait and see whether the boy’s recovery was complete before presenting the case to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The recovery must be medically inexplicable.
“We thank God for Lucas’ cure and we know in all faith from our heart that this miracle was obtained with the help of the little shepherd children Francisco and Jacinta,” Baptista said. “We feel immense joy to know that this was the miracle that led to this canonization, but mostly we feel blessed by the friendship of these two children that helped our boy and now help our family.