AIDS Cure Clears Way for Canonization

´96 Miracle Will Raise Luigi Scrosoppi to Altars

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VATICAN CITY, MAR. 15, 2001 ( The miraculous cure of an AIDS patient attributed to Luigi Scrosoppi, has made it possible to declare this 19th-century religious a saint of the Catholic Church.

The case dates back to 1996. Peter Changu Shitima, a young catechist in Zambia, where this disease has become one of the main causes of death, was at home on his deathbed. Doctors of the hospital in Oudtshoorn, South Africa, could do no more.

«He could scarcely lift his legs, and had developed a serious case of peripheral neuritis,» according to testimony given in the case. «He could not stay in bed without help. He was a terminal AIDS patient and nothing could be done.»

The catechist´s parish community then began to pray to Blessed Luigi, religious of the St. Philip Neri Oratory, «given that he was Changu´s favorite figure, with whose charism he identified most,» the witnesses said in the cause for canonization.

On the night of Oct. 9, 1996, Changu went to bed and dreamed of the blessed. He woke up in the morning feeling absolutely fine.

Pete de Toit, one of the doctors on the case, said: «I sent him home because he was a terminal patient, and he returned brimming with health.» Changu is now a seminarian.

Blessed Scrosoppi (1804-1884), Italian priest and founder of the Sisters of Providence of St. Cajetan of Thiene, had this motto in life: «The poor and the sick are our proprietors, and they represent the very person of Jesus Christ.» Blessed Scrosoppi will be canonized June 10. His feast is celebrated April 3.

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