Interview With the Church’s Official Doctor at Lourdes

The Catholic World Report, Father Sean Connolly: With humility and good humor, Dr. Alessandro de Franciscis—a practicing physician for more than 30 years—refers to himself as a “useless” doctor. Why would that be? Because in 2009, he was appointed by the bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes to be the 15th Médecin Permanent—that is, the president—of the Bureau des Constatations Médicales de Lourdes, or the Lourdes Office of Medical Observations. This office was founded in 1883 to record, study, and judge the hundreds of cures reported by pilgrims who came to Lourdes to wash in the waters of the spring revealed by the Mother of God in her apparitions to St. Bernadette Soubirous. Since then, 7,000 cases of unexplained cures from severe medical conditions have been recorded. A total of 69 of them investigated by the Lourdes Office of Medical Observations have been declared miracles by Church authorities, the latest of which occurred in 2013. And so, Alessandro de Franciscis jokingly refers to himself as a “useless” doctor, as his primary duty is to evaluate patients who are already cured! Full interview is here.