Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Cath News report: Nineteen-year-old Jack Simpson's recovery of his intellectual capacity has been named one of Mary MacKillop's miracles by the Vatican, one that was "held in reserve" as a second miracle required for her canonisation.
At the age of eight, Jack suddenly went from a normal child to a collapse, and was eventually diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, cancer, epilepsy and a loss of neurological functions. The unprecedented recovery of his intellectual capacity has been held up as a miracle, reports The Age.
It was presented to Pope Benedict last year along with Kathleen Evans's cure from inoperable brain and lung cancer - the case chosen as the second miracle.
Disaster struck in April 1999, when "he lost all his competencies and became like a new baby,'' his mother, Sharon Simpson, recalls.
Andrew Kornberg, director of the neurology department at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, called Jack's recovery miraculous and the Vatican agreed.
For the first year there was no diagnosis, as his central nervous system went into meltdown, leaving him paralysed. Soon after the problem was revealed as juvenile MS - with a maximum life expectancy of five years - the family noticed lumps the size of bars of soap in his neck and groin, which turned out to be caused by advanced, stage four Hodgkin's lymphoma.
A friend organised novenas (nine-day prayer cycles) to Mary MacKillop at St Ambrose's Catholic Church in Woodend in 1999 and 2000, but nothing changed at first. For Mrs Simpson the turning point came one night in 2000, when she surrendered her son to God, and Mary MacKillop appeared to help her.
"From then on, I knew I was never alone and her strength became mine.''

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