On Saturday, 5th August, Pope Francis prayed the Rosary with 200,000 young people in the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, as part of the 2023 World Youth Day. A young girl was there, who travelled with an Opus Dei group to Fatima. During the Eucharist, celebrated in the Shrine, after receiving Communion, she opened her eyes and realized she had recovered her sight.
On that Saturday morning, Jimena Barón woke up in Lisbon with blurry vision, just as on the days before her trip. She and her family regard the recovery of her sight as a miracle, fruit of the devotion and faith with which she lived a Novena to the Virgin of the Snows, in which she took part before the World Youth Day, which ended with the recitation of the Holy Rosary with Pope Francis, in the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima. This is how she told her testimony:
“Hello all, I’m very hoarse, but I am Jimena. I wished to thank all those who accompanied me in this Novena because, this morning, I got up as I’ve been getting up for two and a half years seeing very blurry, terrible. I went to Mass with my friends because we are in the WYD and, the truth is, I was very, very nervous during the Mass and then, after going to Communion, I went back to the pew and started to cry a lot because it was the last day of the Novena and I wanted to be healed, and I’ve asked God for it very much.
When I opened my eyes, I could see perfectly! It was too much! We must thank God very much for the miracle because I could see the altar, the tabernacle, my friends were there and I could see them perfectly, who were two and a half years older, than I remembered them, and then I looked in the mirror, and I’m a bit changed.
Then, at the end of the Mass, I read the Novena prayer, the one we have been praying . . . I still read quite well, I haven’t forgotten it altogether, although I read somewhat slowly, but I’ll now begin to pick up the practice.
I’m very, very happy! Thank you very much to all for having prayed so much, this has been a test of faith, and I’m going to call all my daughters Nieves [Snows] and 5th August is my new birthday, because the Virgin has giving me a huge gift, which I’ll not forget. Now what remains of the WYD is to give thanks. We will celebrate a Mass or a Novena to give thanks because this is a huge gift. Thank you for having prayed so much for me. A very big kiss.
In an interview with ACI press, Jimena’s father said that the young girl’s ailment was treated by specialists and none of them could explain the reason for her loss [of sight], which dwindled to 5%. They diagnosed it as a spasm or involuntary contraction, rare phenomenon with few cases. Over a year of treatment, her blurry vision didn’t dwindle.
She has had good health and kept the rhythm of her baccalaureate studies, after learning how to write and read in braille, with the support of the National Organization of the Spanish Blind.
In Lourdes, there is a protocol to approve the existence of a miracle through the mediation of the Virgin Mary, which requires a written diagnosis by a primary physician, the revision of the patient on the arrival in and departure from Lourdes by an a-confessional medical team and verification of the cure a year later. This protocol doesn’t accept a miracle if any step of the protocol is lacking. The Statutes of the Fatima Shrine do not have a protocol.
Given the international relevance the news, it’s opportune to recall the statement of the former Patriarch of Lisbon, Cardinal Manuel Gonçalves Cerejeira, who said: “It wasn’t the Church that imposed Fatima. It was Fatima that imposed itself on the Church.”
Europa Press informed that Cardinal Juan José Omella, President of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, has contacted the young girl as he wants to hear what she has to say about the recovery of her sight during the 2023 World Youth Day.