London, Nov 10 (ANI): It has emerged that a US clergyman, who was suffering from a crippling spinal condition, was cured after he prayed to a 19th Century Birmingham theologian.
Deacon Jack Sullivan, 71, revealed that after he was diagnosed with severe spinal disc and vertebrae deformities, a condition, which left him "bent double", and in "excruciating pain", he began praying to Cardinal Newman for help.
Cardinal Newman, a convert to Roman Catholicism from Anglicanism, who died in 1890, founded the Birmingham Oratory and was known for his work with the poor.
Deacon Sullivan, of Boston, Massachusetts, who is on his UK tour and will be visiting London, Birmingham and Oxford, said he had watched a television programme in the US about Cardinal Newman and had then prayed to him first in June 2000.
"The following morning I got out of bed pain-free, whereas previously I was in agony," the BBC quoted him as saying.
"I thought, 'wow, what's happening?' My prayer was answered to Cardinal Newman," he stated.
The deacon revealed he went through a pain-free period, which doctors had no explanation for, before the pain returned the following April.
After undergoing surgery in August 2001 he was told complications meant doctors did not know if he would ever be able to walk again, but he did not give up and prayed for the cardinal's help again.
"I said, 'please Cardinal Newman, help me walk so that I can return to classes and be ordained [as a deacon]'," he revealed.
"Suddenly I felt a tremendous sense of heat, very, very warm, and a tingling feeling all over my entire body. It was very strong and lasted for a long time," he recalled.
The deacon said he felt a "tremendous sense of peace and joy" and a sense of "confidence and determination" that he could finally walk again.
"Immediately the pain left. It was tragic before, and I exclaimed to the nurse, 'I have no more pain'," he said.
"Thereafter, I walked out of the room, to the utter amazement of everybody, up and down the corridors and the floor or my hospital. I was experiencing what I felt was paradise," he added.
In September Pope Benedict XVI approved claims that the cardinal miraculously cured Deacon Sullivan, and he could now become the first non-martyred English saint since the Reformation. (ANI)