FaithWorld

French nun says Pope John Paul gave her ‘second birth’

nun (Photo: Sister Marie Simon-Pierre poses in front of a picture of former pope John Paul II after a news conference in Aix en Provence, January 17, 2011/Jean-Paul Pelissier)

The French Catholic nun who credits the late Pope John Paul with curing her of Parkinson’s disease said on Monday her sudden recovery came just as she was about to quit working because of her ailment.

Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, 49, said she woke up in June 2005, two months after the Polish-born pope had died, suddenly cured of the disease she had suffered from for four years.

“When I woke up, I felt I was not the same,” Sister Marie told a news conference at the bishop’s office in this southern French city. “There was no more heaviness in my muscles, I could move normally. For me it was a new birth, a second birth.”

Her superior said the nun had told her the previous evening that she could no longer work in their order’s maternity clinic because of her worsening health. “I asked her to take a pencil and write John Paul’s name,” Mother Marie Thomas told journalists. “I saw the writing was very messy and illegible. I said to myself there was nothing left to do but hope.”

John Paul’s successor, Pope Benedict, approved a decree last Friday declaring her healing a miracle and attributing it to the late pontiff, clearing the way for him to be beatified on May 1.

Gambling Catholic nun accused of embezzling $850,000 (updated)

atlantic city poker (Photo: A poker table in Atlantic City, New Jersey, March 14, 2009/Tim Shaffer)

A nun with a fondness for gambling trips to Atlantic City was accused of embezzling more than $850,000 from a suburban Catholic college where she oversaw the school’s finances, officials said on Friday.

Sister Marie Thornton, former vice president of finance at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York, is charged with sending phony invoices to the school to pay off personal credit card bills and expenses, the Attorney’s office said.

The thefts occurred between 1999 and 2009, when Thornton resigned, court documents said. She entered a plea of not guilty to a federal embezzlement charge.