ACI Prensa Staff, Aug 7, 2023 / 16:00 pm (CNA).
“I opened my eyes and I could see perfectly,” said Jimena, a 16-year-old Spanish World Youth Day pilgrim who said she miraculously recovered her sight after receiving the Eucharist at Fátima, Portugal, during a Mass there.
This possible miracle has moved hearts and filled with hope all those who have been following the events at WYD, which brought together more than a million young people in the Portuguese capital last week.
Jimena traveled to Lisbon from Madrid with a group from Opus Dei. During the days prior, relatives and acquaintances of the young woman organized a novena to pray to Our Lady of the Snows, whose feast day is commemorated Aug. 5, the same day she recovered her sight.
For two and a half years, Jimena has suffered a loss of sight due to a myopia problem that left her with a 95% vision loss. On the morning of Aug. 5, when the Holy Father was also praying the rosary at the Fátima shrine, Jimena received what she herself describes as a “great gift” from the Virgin Mary.
Not long after having recovered her sight, Jimena told the Spanish radio station COPE that she woke up that morning “as I have been getting up for two and a half years, seeing super blurry, very badly.”
She explained that she had gone to Mass with her friends “because we are at WYD and after receiving Communion I began to cry a lot, because it was the last day of the novena and I wanted to be cured and I had very much asked God please [cure me].”
“When I opened my eyes, I could see perfectly,” the young woman continued, “it was overwhelming; very many thanks must be given for the miracle, because I saw the altar, the tabernacle, my girlfriends were there, and I could see them perfectly.”
In addition, she said that she was able to read the novena prayer that she was praying and that she still reads “quite well” — she hadn’t forgotten at all how to read.
The young woman said she is “super happy” and thanked all those who were part of the prayer group. “This has been a test of faith; the Virgin has given me a great gift that I will not forget,” she said.
In an Aug. 6 statement to ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner, Cardinal Juan José Omella, the archbishop of Barcelona and president of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference, referred to the possible miracle as “a grace from God” during the press conference at the end of WYD held at Eduardo VII park in Lisbon.
The cardinal said he was able to speak with Jimena on a video call and that she explained what happened in a natural and unaffected manner. “The girl was very excited; she had been blind for a while and she had been learning the Braille method for two or three years,” he said.
The prelate also noted that Jimena “had to read the prayer of thanksgiving at Mass that day with the Madrid group” and that, after receiving Communion, she was able to read it without any problem.
The young woman also told the cardinal that they had been praying for “nine days asking the Virgin for her healing.”
Omella encouraged the faithful to “give thanks to God” and explained that “this doesn’t lead to the cause of beatification for anyone, because the Virgin is already a saint, but it is indeed a grace from God.”
He pointed out that “then the doctors will have to assess it, what it was like, if it existed, if it could be cured or not. But for now for the girl that has been a major event. Let’s say a miracle. She didn’t see and now she sees. Now the doctors will be able to say the rest, but she has gone home seeing. Well, she sees, blessed be God.”
Omella said he was “really struck” by other testimonies that took place during WYD from young people who “have also recovered their interior vision.”
This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.