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An "Incurable" Patient Tells Of Her Recovery. (1949, August 4). Catholic Weekly (Sydney, NSW : 1942 - 1954), p. 7 Section: Magazine Section. Retrieved June 19, 2015, from


An "Incurable" Patient tells of Her Recovery 


This story was written by Sister M. Evangelina, a Sister of the Holy Cross in Aliwal North, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.   The events described   took place some years   - ago, but it is only recently that the Sister's narrative was received for   publication.   In England, Father Hayes, C.SS.R., added his corroborative testimony.


IMG 1509THANKS be to God and to the Mother of Perpetual Succour, by whose powerful help I have been cured from a most painful disease. 


For 11 years I had been suffering intensely from an incurable stomach trouble, intensified by other painful complications. I could never in all those years take any food save liquids, or chemical preparations. I was troubled with very frequent vomiting, often vomiting blood. I suffered most acute pain without ever obtaining any real relief.


Six years ago I accidentally contracted some kind of blood poisoning, in addition to the trouble I have described. The poison saturated my whole system, and broke out all over the body in painful wounds. The doctor pronounced it gangrene. 

Five Times Anointed



For the last six years I have never been without wounds. At times they were all over me, from head to foot; and when they lessened and partially healed the poison seemed to' attack me interiorly, causing fever, agonising pain, frequent convulsions and haemorrhage.  


Five times in the course of my long illness I was anointed and prepared for death. Many fervent prayers were said by the dear ones around me that God would give me speedy release and a happy death. But He who was my strength during all those years of living death, was to lift the cross from   me and suddenly restore me to health to show the power of His Blessed Mother invoked under her consoling title of Perpetual Succour. 


During a visit to Aliwal of the Rev. Father Hayes, one of the Redemptorists on the South African Mission — the Redemptorists who spread everywhere devotion to the Mother of God -under the title of Mother of Perpetual Succour - he proposed that we should make a novena to her to obtain my cure, if such were the holy Will of God. 


I was very grateful for this proposal, trusting to obtain many needed graces for my soul.

To my shame, be it said, I had no hope of obtaining any relief from my physical sufferings, the malady being so hopeless, and according to the doctor's verdict, incurable. 


However, the novena was started with great fervour, the whole Community joining in with heart and soul, encouraged by the words and example of Father Hayes.


Strange to say, I felt at once, as the first fruit of the novena, an unbounded trust in the powerful intercession of the Mother of Perpetual Succour. 


Mass in sickroom


During the novena Father Hayes was able to offer Holy Mass every morning in the sick-room — an unspeakable joy to me who had been unable to go to Mass for six long years.


On the second day of the novena, as the nurse was dressing the wounds, she noticed a change in them — but a change for the worse. The discharge from them was something I should not like to describe, and the pain was well nigh unbearable. God alone knows what I suffered all those days up to the eighth day of the novena. The racking pain in the wounds; painful inflammation all over the body; the constant sick feeling; daily vomiting, even to blood; in a word, the whole body one mass of pain.


The night before the eighth day was agony, as, indeed, were many nights during the weary years of suffering. 


I could scarcely live that night, crushed as I was with the feeling of sickness and the racking pain.


communionSeveral times I vomited what was apparently matter in a state of decay — I can give no other description of it. Yet all during that, long night I said to myself: “Bear up, for God's sake — it will only last till morning.”


On the eighth day of the novena Father Hayes said the Mass of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour. Just after the Elevation. I felt a great   weakness come over me, and I seemed on the point of fainting. I was going to give a sign to the nurse, but then I thought that the feeling of weakness would pass, as it might be the result of an effort it cost me to make a perfect act of adoration at the Elevation of the Host. 


A Complete Cure 



Then suddenly — all praise to God and the Mother of Perpetual Succour - I felt quite well and full of interior peace and happiness.


At that moment, I felt sure that Our Blessed Lord, lying there on the altar, had — through the intercession of the Mother of Perpetual Succour — granted me a complete cure of my poor, tortured body, as He had bestowed me peace of mind and heart. With a feeling of intense love and gratitude, I received my Lord and God into my poor heart.


The cure was as wonderful as it was complete. The dear ones around me knew that for long years I could scarcely lift my head from the pillow, and how when attempting to lower my feet to the ground I became unconscious with pain.


And now all of a sudden came this wonderful change…. I got up, dressed, and leaning lightly on my dear, kind nurse, I walked — with tears of joy— from my bed to a chair, and there sat quite comfortably, feeling just splendid.


For 11 years I had been unable, to take any substantial food. In fact, I took so little nourishment that it was strange how I managed to live at all. But the day of my cure I enjoyed a hearty meal, taking meat, vegetables, potatoes, rice, &c., and feeling perfectly well afterwards. 


No Natural Explanation


The doctor who had attended me was quite overcome when he saw the sudden cure.


He said to me, repeatedly: 'Well, Sister, this is certainly a wonderful cure. It is, as you say; a miracle. Only prayer- could ever have done this for you.”


He said that even the change in my face, was so wonderful that it could never have come about in a natural way. Most of the wounds healed almost at once, the others were, healthy and healed rapidly afterwards. Not a trace of the malady is left.


And now, O my God, I have, through obedience, written down the unspeakable favour. Thou hast, through Mary's intercession, bestowed on. Thy poor child, so that others may help me to praise and thank Thee, and that the power of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour may be known and her loving name be invoked by all who are suffering in body and soul. 


Priest's Testimony In Support 


In a letter dated January 13, 1944, from Bishop-Eton, 'Liverpool, Father Hayes adds his own testimony to the miraculous cure described by Sister M. Evangelina.  He says :


“I have read the account of the cure of Sister M. Evangelina of Holy Cross Convent, Aliwal North, Cape Province, South Africa. The details are well known to me, as I personally witnessed- the cure, and it was I who asked the Sister to write the account of it. I very gladly vouch for the authenticity of her record of the miracle which was wrought in her favour through the intercession of our dear Mother of Perpetual Succour.The story as written by Sister M. Evangelina is true in all its details. 


“When I first saw the Sister - on the occasion of my visit to her convent, in October, 1922 — the spectacle which she presented was almost indescribable. The utter helplessness and hopelessness of her condition would move anyone to pity. 



“At once an inspiration came to me to suggest a novena of Masses and Communions, in honour of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, for the cure, God willing, of the dying Sister. The poor, suffering patient willingly agreed, and asked me to return a little later, as she wished to begin the novena by going to Confession and receiving the Sacrament of Penance.


“The whole Community joined in the novena and prayed daily before the picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, which they had in their chapel.


“I promised the incurable Sister that I would say Mass for her each morning in the little infirmary in the convent grounds where the seriously sick members of the Community were nursed.  At the Elevation of the Host at each of the Masses, the sick Sister said, again at my; suggestion, this prayer: 

“O Jesus, for the honour and glory, of Thy Blessed Mother, under her chosen title of Perpetual Succour, cure me, the incurable.”


The night following the seventh day of the novena was for the poor Sister a night of almost indescribable pain. The next morning the eighth day of the novena, it cost her a big effort to say the little prayer I had recommended.


“As she tried to bend forward, it appeared to her that she momentarily swooned, or nearly did. Next moment, however, she knew beyond all doubt that she was cured. And so in truth she was — all thanks to God and to Our Blessed — Lady!  


 “I finished Mass, made my thanksgiving, and went into the convent  parlour for breakfast, knowing nothing all this time of the miracle that had occurred. It was during breakfast that the chaplain, who had said Mass in the parish church,   rushed into the breakfast-room to announce the great tidings.


“I immediately crossed over to the Infirmary, and found the Sister sitting up, dressed in the habit: of her Order, bubbling over with happiness. I found the incurable cured!   




“To all this I would willingly and gladly, for the honour and glory, of Our Mother of Perpetual Succour, bear testimony on solemn oath before God.   


“Mother of Perpetual Succour, pray for me, thy unworthy client.   




P.S.— Sister M. Evangelina had been Superioress, now of one convent, now or another for about 20  years past. The maladies from which she was miraculously cured   have never returned. Her cure was complete. — M.H.

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