Vat­i­can calls Brazil­ian boy’s sur­vival of brain in­jury a Fa­tima ‘mir­a­cle’

Cape Breton Post - - World -

The par­ents of a Brazil­ian boy whose re­cov­ery from a se­vere brain in­jury is be­ing cited by the Vat­i­can as the “mir­a­cle” needed to can­on­ize two Por­tuguese chil­dren broke their si­lence Thurs­day to share the story.

Joao Bap­tista and his wife, Lu­cila Yurie, ap­peared be­fore re­porters at the Catholic shrine in Fa­tima, Por­tu­gal on the eve of Pope Fran­cis’ ar­rival. Fran­cis will com­mem­o­rate the 100th an­niver­sary of the so-called Fa­tima vi­sions of the Vir­gin Mary by can­on­iz­ing two of the three Por­tuguese chil­dren who ex­pe­ri­enced them.

The “mir­a­cle” re­quired for the can­on­iza­tion con­cerns the case of lit­tle Lu­cas Bap­tista, whose story has to date been

shrouded in se­crecy.

His fa­ther said Thurs­day that in 2013, when Lu­cas was 5 years old, the boy fell 6.5 me­tres from

a win­dow at the fam­ily’s home in Brazil while play­ing with his in­fant sis­ter, Ed­uarda.

The am­bu­lance to the hospi­tal took an hour, and when Lu­cas ar­rived he was in a coma and had suf­fered two heart at­tacks, Bap­tista said. Dur­ing emer­gency surgery, doc­tors di­ag­nosed a se­vere trau­matic brain in­jury and a “loss of brain ma­te­rial” from the child’s frontal lobe.

Doc­tors said Lu­cas had lit­tle chance of sur­vival, and if he did live, would be se­verely men­tally dis­abled or even in a veg­e­ta­tive state, the fa­ther re­called.

Bap­tista said he and his wife, as well as Brazil­ian Carmelite nuns, prayed to the late shep­herd chil­dren who said the Vir­gin Mary ap­peared to them in “vi­sions” in 1917. Two of those chil­dren, sib­lings Fran­cisco and Jac­inta Marto, will be­come the Catholic Church’s youngestever non-mar­tyred saints on Satur­day.

AP PHOTO

Two women set flow­ers by a statue of Jac­inta and Fran­cisco Marto at the Fa­tima Sanc­tu­ary Thurs­day in Fa­tima, Por­tu­gal.

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