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These criteria are essential, even if they are only one of the elements, among all the theological criteria, required for the recognition of a miracle. According to DE SERVORUM BEATIFICATIONEM AND BEATORUM CANONIZATIONE,

Liber IV, Pars I, Cap. VIII, No. 2, with Commentaries up to the end of the Caput. Author: Cardinal LAMBERTINI Prospero, in 1734, future Pope BENOIT XIV (1740- 1758).

  • “Primum est, ut morbus sit gravis, et vet impossibilis, vet curatu difficilis”.

It is necessary, first of all, that the disease is serious and, either incurable, or of random treatment.

  • “Secundum, ut morbus, qui depellitur, non sit in ultima parte status, ita ut non multo post declinare debeat”.


Then, the affection which has disappeared must not have reached its final stage (of evolution); since then, or soon after, it should have ceased on its own.

  • "Tertium, ut nulla fuerint adhibita medicamenta, vel, si fuerint adhibita, certum sit, ea non profuisse".

It is also necessary that no medication has been given... or, if it is proven that medications have been prescribed, that they could not have had any useful action.

  • «      Quartum,     ut _cc781905- 5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_  sanatio    sit   _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d_ subita,     et    momentanea  _cc781905 -5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_”.

Fourthly, healing should be sudden and achieved in an instant.

  • « Quintum, ut sanatio sit perfecta, non  manca,  aut  concisa  ».

This healing must also be perfect and not incomplete or partial.

  • “Sextum, ut nulla notatu digna evacuatio, seu crisis praecedat temporibus debitis, et cum causa; si enim ita accidat, tunc vero prodigiosa sanatio dicenda     non   erit,  sed     vel    ex  _cc781905-5cde-3194 -bb3b-136bad5cf58d_ toto,     vet     _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d_      ex parte    naturalis _cc781905- 5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_         ”.

Moreover, no evacuation or crisis, worthy of being noted, must have preceded, in due time and under the dependence of a cause (determined, the cure); for, if such were the case, the cure could not really be considered as prodigious, but, rather, natural, in whole or in part.

  • «     Ultimum, ut sublatus  morbus non redeat   _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d_ ”.

Finally, the erased disease must not recur.



To tell the truth, it is necessary that we do not find in this very rapid transition from a state of   well-established and serious illness, without tendency to improvement, to a state of perfect health, certain and lasting, no medical or scientific explanation, natural or habitual.

This recognized, it is not yet certain that healing comes from God. It is by the set of circumstances surrounding the healing that we can discern its real origin and possibly classify it as belonging to the divine supernatural, or preternatural.

BENEDICT XIV states that "false miracles" must be distinguished from true "efficacia, utilitate, modo, fine, persona et occasione". (Caput. VII, n°14).

This means that "by what it produces, by the way it will be used, by the means employed, for the purpose pursued, the person concerned and the circumstances of the event", one must not encounter "nothing frivolous, ridiculous, dishonest, shameful, violent, impious, proud, deceitful or defective”, in any capacity whatsoever; on the contrary, must be "suitable, serious, leading to piety, religion, holiness". So, without a doubt, this preternatural cannot be diabolical (Caput VII, n° 15).


These canonical criteria were certainly not unknown to the Medical Office of Lourdes at its origin.

His first permanent doctor, the Doctor of Saint-Maclou, hadn't he studied, in fact, not only medicine, but also philosophy and theology!

This is how very early on, they were applied to the search for the miraculous nature of the healings observed in the dynamics of Lourdes.

Moreover, if these criteria were required by the Catholic Church of Rome to beatify the servants of God and canonize her blessed, how much more should they be retained when it was a question of the Immaculate Conception, Mary Mother of God!


In such a way that the rigor of the doctors of Lourdes, whose meticulousness over the ages has focused in turn on the character of instantaneous healing, the relative effectiveness of the treatments received, the objective proof of the disease observed or the delay supervision more or less prolonged according to the affection, this rigor therefore has never been found wanting by the various diocesan Canonical Commissions called upon to pronounce.

It is the respect of these criteria that made the seriousness and objectivity of the former Bureau des Constatations; it continues to guide the International Medical Committee of Lourdes, whose conclusions still represent the expertise that triggers and motivates all subsequent canonical judgments, capable of discerning the true miracles of healing related to the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes.

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