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The atheist scientist who ascertained the miracle

"The Church wanted scientific evidence for a spontaneous recovery and I have given it to them. I do not believe in God, but I cannot rule out that it was Him”: this was said during the interview with the weekly magazine "Time", by the sixty-four Canadian Jacalyn Duffin, an atheist haematologist who had a decisive role in the canonization of Marie-Marguerite d'Youville, the first saint of the North American region. "According to science one remission from leukemia is possible, however recovering twice is not. However, after eight years, the patient was still alive" - it could only be a miracle. "The Vatican therefore asked you for your consultation for the canonization?" Leo Grottoes asks her. "Not at all. The Vatican experts had already refused the case: for they could not speak of a miracle because, reading the slides, they had not found the first remission, but only the second. The petitioners in Canada were angry; they appealed and reached this agreement: entrust the slides to an impartial witness, that's me. Once I had delivered my results, I went to the Vatican to witness the process with a stack of documents and evidence. For me it was a matter of principle, of science. “And while stating that she remains an atheist, Duffin concludes: “Medicine is guilty of ignoring the Church and having built an artificial wall to divide it from science. My identity has changed, I am more humble and I have even improved in my work. I have learned to listen more to my patients; there are things that they tell me which I did not listen to as I thought about the disease and nothing else."




St. Peter’s Square

Oct. 22, 2019