Healing in the Bible and the Catechism
"These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents (with their hands), and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." - Words of Jesus in Mark 16:17-18
"There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias ... Ananias went and entered the house; laying his hands on him, he said, "Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me, Jesus who appeared to you on the way by which you came, that you may regain your sight and be filled with the holy Spirit." Immediately things like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. He got up and was baptized." - Acts 9:9,17-18
"Many signs and wonders were done among the people at the hands of the apostles." - Acts 5:12
"As Peter was passing through every region, he went down to the holy ones living in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been confined to bed for eight years, for he was paralyzed. Peter said to him, "Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and make your bed." He got up at once. And all the inhabitants of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord." - Acts 9:32-35
"The risen Lord renews this mission ("In my name . . . they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover") and confirms it through the signs that the Church performs by invoking his name. These signs demonstrate in a special way that Jesus is truly "God who saves." - Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1507
"The Holy Spirit gives to some a special charism of healing so as to make manifest the power of the grace of the risen Lord. The Holy Spirit gives to some a special charism of healing so as to make manifest the power of the grace of the risen Lord. But even the most intense prayers do not always obtain the healing of all illnesses. Thus St. Paul must learn from the Lord that "my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness," and that the sufferings to be endured can mean that "in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his Body, that is, the Church." - Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1508
The Gift of Healing in History
St. John Paul II reminded the world that even today, God can heal through His people. To celebrate the 800th anniversary of the birth of St. Clare, he wrote, "every day she prayed for the sick and often healed them with a sign of the cross."
In the 3rd century, saints Cosmas and Damian, twin brothers, worked with the sick by the Mediterranean Sea. They would tell people, "It is not by our own power that we treat you, but by the power of Christ, the true God. Believe in Him and be healed." When accused of sorcery, they replied, "We have done evil to no one, we are not involved with the magic or sorcery of which you accuse us. We treat the infirm by the power of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and we take no payment for rendering aid to the sick, because our Lord commanded His disciples, "Freely have you received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8). Their gift of healing was what opened people to receive an even greater gift: salvation. As people were healed, they saw that Jesus is good and He is alive, and many became followers of Jesus, even though Christians were persecuted at the time. The Roman Emperor Carinus stubbornly refused to believe them, and kept them in prison and put them on trial, then became blind. Saints Cosmas and Damian prayed for him, and God healed his eyesight.
In 20th century, St. André Bessette in Montreal would often pray for the sick and they would recover. Some examples of healings that happened through his intercession were:
- A young man had a fever and Brother André told him, “You are in perfect health. Go outside and play.” When a doctor came to see him, he was healed.
- When a priest assiting him lost his eyesight, Brother André consoled him saying, "Wait until morning.” The next day, the priest’s eyesight improved so much that he could continue working.
"Faith is the mother of miracles." - St. John Chrysostom, Early Church Father
- A talk from Deacon Silva about the gift of healing.
- Films of Healing from a Catholic Charismatic community in England
- Information and videos about healing with Fr. Fernando Suarez