John Paul II approved the decree issued by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints about a miracle of Blessed Josemaria Escriva. The miracle was the healing of Doctor Manuel Nevado from an incurable disease (chronic radiodermatitis), which disappeared in November, 1992, through the intercession of Blessed Josemaria. Other decrees about miracles were read, among them, one attributed to Padre Pio and another to Blessed Juan Diego.
Radiodermatitis is a typical disease of doctors whose hands have been exposed to radiation from X-ray machines over a long period of time. It is a progressive disease, which evolves inexorably and causes the appearance of skin cancers. Radiodermatitis has no cure. The only known treatments are surgical (skin grafts, and amputation of the affected parts of the hand). In the medical literature up to now, no case of a spontaneous cure from cancerous chronic radiodermatitis has ever been recorded.
Doctor Manuel Nevado Rey is a Spanish doctor, born in 1932. A specialist in orthopedic surgery, for nearly 15 years he operated on fractures and other injuries, exposing his hands to X-rays. He carried out these operations very often, beginning in 1956. The first symptoms of radiodermatitis began to appear in 1962, and the disease continued to worsen. By 1984 he had to limit his activities to minor operations because his hands were gravely affected. He stopped operating completely in the summer of 1992. Dr. Nevado did not undergo any treatment.
In November 1992, Dr. Nevado met Luis Eugenio Bernardo Carrascal, an agricultural engineer working for a Spanish government department. On hearing about his disease, Luis Eugenio offered him a prayer card of the founder of Opus Dei, who had been beatified on May 17 that year, and invited him to pray for a cure for his radiodermatitis.
The intercession of Blessed Josemaria
Dr. Nevado began praying for a cure through the intercession of Blessed Josemaria. A few days after that meeting he traveled to Vienna with his wife in order to attend a medical conference. They visited several churches, and came across prayer cards of Blessed Josemaria. "This impressed me" – explains Dr. Nevado – "and it encouraged me to pray more for my cure." From the day that he began to entrust his cure to the intercession of Blessed Josemaria, his hands began to get better, and in about a fortnight the lesions disappeared completely. The cure was complete, and beginning in January, 1993, Dr. Nevado was able to return to carrying out surgical operations without any problem.
The canonical process
The canonical process on this miracle took place in the archdiocese of Badajoz, where Dr. Nevado lives, and was concluded in 1994. On July 10, 1997, the Medical Committee of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints unanimously established the following diagnosis: "a cancerous state of chronic radiodermatitis in its third and irreversible stage"; and therefore with a certain prognosis of "infaust" (without hope of a cure). The complete cure of the lesions, confirmed by the objective examinations carried out on the patient in 1992, 1994 and 1997, was declared by the Medical Committee to be "very rapid, complete, lasting, and scientifically inexplicable."
On Jan. 9, 1998, the Committee of Theologians gave its unanimous approval for attributing the miracle to Blessed Josemaria. The Ordinary Congregation of Cardinals and Bishops confirmed these conclusions on Sept. 21, 2001.