God is capable of healing us. But sometimes the healing we receive isn’t the one we expected. Patrick Madrid, host of The Patrick Madrid Show, illustrated this by sharing a story of his miraculous healing from Lourdes.
“I have not been to Lourdes myself,” Patrick said. “I’d like to go, I just haven’t had the opportunity. But I experienced a kind of healing that involved Lourdes, even though I never went there.”
Our Lady of Lourdes appeared to Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old peasant girl in Lourdes, France in 1858. In one of her apparitions, Mary told St. Bernadette to dig in the ground and drink from the spring she found there. Sure enough, clear water flowed in the muddy grotto and formed a stream – and this water has been a means of miraculous healing ever since.
Patrick shared that his story of healing started with a woman he used to work with named Caroline. She was a wife, a mother of six, and wrote for a magazine Patrick used to publish called Envoy. One day Caroline called Patrick and told him that she would no longer be able to write for Envoy – because she had lung cancer.
“I procrastinated going to see her, and her health declined,” Patrick explained. “I knew that her health declined. I would talk to friends of hers that I knew and they would tell me that she wasn’t doing well. And I kept telling myself, ‘I’m going to go visit Caroline.’ And I didn’t.”
One day, Patrick got the news that Caroline had died. He knew that now he would not get the chance to see his friend one last time.
“I really suffered at that point,” Patrick admitted. “Because I felt guilty and I felt foolish. Why didn’t I go visit her? I was too busy, I was too lazy. I’m not sure why, but I never visited Caroline and I really regretted it. I took her death rather hard and it was difficult for me.”
A few years later, Patrick was filming a TV segment and hanging out backstage when a woman asked to speak with him. She explained that she runs an apostolate that brings people to Lourdes. She wanted to tell Patrick about a woman who made a lasting impression on her whose name was Caroline.
“Now I knew that Caroline and her husband had gone to Lourdes,” Patrick explained. “But I didn’t really think anything of it because nothing happened. She went to Lourdes and a short while after that she died.”
The woman at the TV studio told Patrick that when she was at Lourdes with Caroline, while they were preparing for her to get into the water, she was talking about Patrick.
Patrick said, “Me? Why me?”
“I don’t know,” the woman replied. “But she was talking about you and how much she liked you and enjoyed working with Envoy magazine. She so enjoyed knowing you and your wife, Nancy.”
Getting emotional in retelling the story, Patrick told listeners, “It’s hard for me to really put it into words, but here’s the best I can do. I experienced a healing from Lourdes. I wasn’t at Lourdes, I didn’t go into the water. Caroline did. She was the one who was sick. She went into the water and she did not get healed. But I got healed.”
Patrick explained, “I almost instantaneously lost that sense of guilt, regret, and pain. I felt liberated from what I was going through. Because I was in kind of a mental prison of all my regrets. It was a momentous moment for me, and it was almost instantaneous. It was almost as if I could feel Caroline smiling at me and saying, ‘It’s OK. You don’t have to worry about it.'”
“That’s my Lourdes story. And I got a healing out of it.”