Miracle healing

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The healing of Peter's mother-in-law , illustration from Codex Egberti (10th century)

Miraculous healings are extraordinary healings of (mostly) serious illnesses which (like miracles ) seem to contradict the laws of nature "and are therefore ascribed to the direct influence of a divine power or supernatural forces". This definition distinguishes them from spontaneous healing . In the religious context, diseases have always been regarded as a disruption of the relationship between creator and creature and the remedy of this disorder or the healing of diseases can accordingly be brought about through divine intervention. In Christianity there have been numerous reports of miraculous healings from the appearance of Jesus Christ to the present day.

Judaism and Christianity

The book of Exodus already tells of the healing of the hand of Moses from leprosy , with which God had previously struck him ( Ex 4.8  EU ). In the book of Tobit , an apocryphal script of the Old Testament , the miraculous healing of blind Tobit is reported. In the New Testament there are numerous pericopes about the miracles of Jesus and the apostles . It is reported that Jesus healed the blind, the lame, the lepers and the possessed, and raised even the dead to life. The Acts of the Apostles reports on the healing of a paralyzed man at the beautiful gate by the apostle Peter ( Acts 3,1-10  EU ).

The theological significance of these healings and other miracles is discussed. While some are of the opinion that supernatural healings are involved, which are intended to demonstrate the divine authority of Jesus, others consider the question of the naturalness or supernatural nature of the healings to be secondary, rather it should express God's healing care and his will to save man come.

Places of miraculous healing

Most miraculous healings are associated with places of pilgrimage , especially those of Our Lady . The numerous reports from the two towns of Lourdes and Fátima are outstanding . In both places there are medical committees that have made it their task to examine and document any improvements that have occurred. Lourdes also has a medical commission and a canon law commission of the Catholic Church . Lourdes is visited by around 50,000 seriously ill people every year. The files of the medical office contain about 7000 healing reports since 1858, of which 69 were recognized as miracles by the Roman Catholic Church. Particular clusters occurred around 1900 and again around 1950. Since then, the increased scientific demands of the commissions have made recognition as a miracle very difficult. The last recognition of a miracle healing in Lourdes took place in 2013.

The Portuguese Fátima is less important as a place where miraculous healings are reported; Reports of miraculous healings there are not recognized by the church. The Constance theologian and physician Andreas Beck examined and published 17 case documents of miracles reported from Fátima together with some doctoral students, the last from 1948.

In the spring of 2011, a series of healings is said to have taken place in Loliondo , Tanzania , about 400 km from Arusha, after sick people were given an herbal tea from an ELCT pastor . Due to the remoteness of the place, consideration was given to moving the healing center to Arusha, but the pastor resisted. According to him, the medicinal tea should only be effective if it is poured from his cup on site.

Beatification and canonization process

The canonization and beatification processes of the Catholic Church is based, except for martyrs on miracles that should be done in invocation and intercession of the saints. For the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints there is a committee made up of changing physicians, the so-called Consulta medica , which checks in all beatings and canonization processes whether a healing attributed to the candidate is actually inexplicable and therefore a miracle.

It is evident that the decreasing frequency of miracle reports, documentaries and related public discussion is related to the advancement of scientific medicine. “The knowledge of the miraculous, according to the science historians Lorraine Daston and Katharin Park in their book Miracles and the Order of Nature , was still a sign of learning and at the same time the key to nature for naturalists like Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz or Robert Boyle . It was not until the 18th century that the scientific elite suddenly lost their interest in miracles. The idea of ​​uniform and inviolable laws of nature gained ground, which by definition did not allow any exceptions. Nobody could prove in 1800 that there are no miracles. However, their existence became implausible. "

See also


  • Andreas Beck: Miracle healings in medicine? Clio, Konstanz 2004, ISBN 3-00-013287-2
  • Jürgen Beyer: A Husum prayer healer (1680/81) - from bankrupt to saint . In: Kieler Blätter zur Volkskunde 37, 2005, ISSN  0341-8030 , pp. 7-29.
  • Lorraine Daston , Katharine Park: Miracles and the Order of Nature . Eichborn Verlag, Berlin et al. 2003, ISBN 3-8218-1633-3 .
  • Michael Dörnemann , Illness and Healing in the Theology of the Early Church Fathers , Mohr Siebeck, 2003, ISBN 978-3-16-148161-1 .
  • Joachim Faulstich: The healing consciousness. Miracles and hope at the limits of medicine . Knaur, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-426-66557-3 , ( Mens sana ).
  • Klaus Herbers , Lenka Jiroušková, Bernhard Vogel (eds.): Miracle reports of the early and high Middle Ages = Miracula medii aevi usque ad saeculum XII . Latin and German. With the collaboration of Clemens Heydenreich, René Hurtienne, Sofia Seeger and Bernhard Waldmann. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 2005, ISBN 3-534-16475-X , ( Freiherr-vom-Stein-Gedächtnisausgabe, Series A, Selected Sources on the German History of the Middle Ages 43).
  • Otto A. Jäger: Miraculous healings in the depiction of earlier Ethiopian miniature painting. In: Materia Medica Nordmark. Volume 20, No. 12, December 1968, pp. 653-671.
  • Ute Lotz-Heumann: Representations of healing waters and springs in the early modern period. Bathing resorts, Lutheran miracle springs and Catholic pilgrimages . In: Matthias Pohlig among others: Secularizations in the early modern period. Methodological problems and empirical case studies . Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-428-12943-0 , ( Journal for Historical Research Supplement 41), pp. 277-330.
  • Robert Jütte : History of Alternative Medicine. From folk medicine to today's unconventional therapies. CH Beck, Munich 1996, ISBN = 3-406-40495-2, pp. 66-114 ( religious and magical medicine ), in particular pp. 66 f. ( Belief in miracles in medicine ).
  • Erwin Liek : The miracle in medicine. JF Lehmanns Verlag, Munich 1930; 4th edition Stuttgart 1951.
  • Oskar Rosenthal: miraculous healings and medical patronage. Leipzig 1925.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Manfred Vasold: Miracle Healings. In: Werner E. Gerabek , Bernhard D. Haage, Gundolf Keil , Wolfgang Wegner (eds.): Enzyklopädie Medizingeschichte. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2005, ISBN 3-11-015714-4 , p. 1505 f .; here: p. 1505.
  2. Manfred Vasold: Miracle Healings. 2005, p. 1505 f.
  3. Lourdes has its 69th miracle. In: nzz.ch. July 21, 2013, accessed October 14, 2018 .
  4. a b Quote from Martin Lindner, Berliner Zeitung of January 5, 2008