A British grandfather who believes his inoperable cancer was cured by Lourdes holy water over 50 years ago will be tested by doctors on this weekend’s Songs of Praise.
The Virgin Mary is said to have urged St Bernadette of Lourdes to drink and bathe in water from a spring in the Grotto of Massabielle.
Kazik Stepan, now 71, was diagnosed with a tumour on his spinal cord that left him unable to walk when he was just 18.
However, he believes he experienced a miracle after visiting Lourdes as a teenager and bathing in the natural spring on St Bernadette’s birthday, a sacred feast day in 1965.
Doctors feared that Mr Stepan, from Kent, would not survive the pilgrimage to the sacred site, located in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains in south-western France, but he claims after bathing there he was able to walk for the first time in months.
He will revisit the pilgrimage site accompanied by the International Medical Committee of Lourdes, who will assess his claim of a miracle. However, before being able to confirm a miracle, the doctors must first ensure that Mr Stephan’s original diagnosis was proven to be incurable.
Although there have been more than 7,000 miraculous recoveries attributed to the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes at the French shrine, only 70 cases have been officially recognised by the Catholic Church.
If doctors confirm Mr Stepan’s claim, he will be the first Briton to have his cure verified. The case will be featured on Songs of Praise on BBC One this weekend, Sunday, 15th September.
Picture: Caregivers push the sick and disabled at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes. (CNS).