As chaplain of both Vancouver General and St. Paul's hospital in Vancouver, Canada, the Rev. John Horgan was no stranger to death, nor to the hope faith can provide for a cure. But on July 3rd, 2008 Rev. Horgan got his faith affirmed when a friend turned up in the Vancouver General Emergency Room, clutching on to the last few moments of his life, as he was hours away from death.
The friend who was dying, Peter Anderson (also from Vancouver), was admitted due to complications with two flesh eating bacterial infections: myositis, which attacks the muscles, and necrotizing fasciitis, which destroys the flesh beneath the surface skin. He was nearly unrecognizable due to bloating brought about due to septic shock and was expected to die within a few hours.
While administering Last Rites to his dying friend, Rev. John Horgan prayed over his friend with a relic from Blessed Columba Marmion, asking the French monk (who died in 1923) to intercede with God on behalf of his friend and make him well.
The night came and went only to find that Peter Anderson, who the night before was as good as gone, had made a full recovery, which not only defies logic and science but has many talking miracle.
The Catholic Church is now investigating the matter.
Should they find that this was indeed a miracle, then it would go a long way to help begin moving Blessed Marmion's sainthood process (as the Irish born monk is not yet a saint). Of course, there is a good chance that all the blessing did was calm down the patient thus letting the antibiotics and other treatments do their jobs.
Horgan claims that the investigation process of the Catholic Church is "...a rigorous process and the word miracle isn't used. What will be investigated is whether the healing was of such an extraordinary nature as to be medically inexplicable - in other words, something that science can't account for." The investigation will submit its findings to the Pope, who is the only person who can declare something a miracle.
Should Blessed Marmion's intercession be found as the only plausible reason for Peter Anderson's recovery, a lot of weight will be added to a petition (conveniently enough being supported by the leader of Horgan's former abbey in Belgium) to make Marmion a saint. Not to mention the flocks of Catholics who will them make a pilgrimage to touch the holy relic (that is, if the reaction of American Catholics have to oil stains on glass and burn marks on toast which bear a Rorschachian resemblance to the Virgin Mary).
Only time will tell...