A young American – who is now 19 and in his second year at university – claims he was cured of a chest tumour thanks to Ratzinger, who met the boy at an audience in Rome last year. Ratzinger listened to his story and placed his hand on the boy’s chest where the tumour was. Peter Srisch and his family appeared on Denver-based KUSA TV and confirmed their belief publicly.
Peter was 17 when doctors diagnosed him with a chest tumour after doing an X-Ray. “He had a chest x-ray and it revealed a softball sized tumour in his chest. It was determined that it was stage four non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” Laura Srsich, Peter’s mother, said.
Peter was being treated at Colorado Children’s Hospital and while doctors tried to do what they could to help him fight the disease, he was also being looked after by the U.S. non-profit Make-a-Wish Foundation. The foundation works in about 50 countries across the world, offering assistance, including psychological support to children and young people with life-threatening medical conditions and granting each of them one wish. The Make-a-Wish Foundation was established in 1993 and has a strong presence in English-speaking countries but not only.
Laura Srsich said that when she spoke to Peter about it, the first wish that came to his mind was: ‘I’d love to go meet the Pope in Rome.” His wish was relatively easy to grant and so a year ago, in May, Peter and his mother attended one of Benedict XVI’s General Audiences in St. peter’s Square. They met and spoke to him and the encounter had a powerful effect on Peter. “When I got up to actually talk to him I was struck by how human he was. It was a humbling experience for me to see how humble he was,” Peter said. The Pope listened to Peter talk about his trip and his illness. The boy then gave Ratzinger a lime green wristband with the words “Praying for Peter” printed on it. Ratzinger reciprocated by blessing him.
But according to Peter and his family this wasn’t just any blessing; or at least it was very effective. “Then he blessed me. He put his hand right on my chest where the tumour had been. He didn’t know where the tumour was, but he put his hand right there,” Peter explained.
A year has gone by and Peter has made a full recovery from cancer, he is in his second year at university and one day hopes to be ordained a priest. Benedict XVI’s resignation as Bishop of Rome and Pope only strengthened the impression Peter was left with after their meeting. In Peter’s eyes, Benedict’s gesture showed he put the Catholic Church above himself and his personal needs. A very humble gesture. “I’m going to remember him as one of the most humble people in the world, especially by this last act he is doing,” Peter said. Read more…