Projected Forcefully Out of His Wheelchair
Leo Schwager was born on May 19, 1924 in Switzerland. At age 11, he suffered injuries and memory losses after a traumatic fall. In 1945, another fall caused further brain injuries. He also contracted diphtheria. In the following years, he experienced blurred vision, slurred speech and complete paralysis of his left side. In 1951, after extensive testing, he was diagnosed with an advanced case of multiple sclerosis. His weight had declined to 103 pounds, he was completely bedridden and his health was steadily deteriorating.
On April 28, 1952, he left on a pilgrimage to Lourdes. He describes what happened to him there, during a procession of the Blessed Sacrament:
“Next the Bishop gave the Blessing of the Sick right in front of me. It was if an electric shock went over my whole body, from head to foot! I thought, ‘Good, now I can die in peace.’ I think I lost consciousness and everything became blurred.
“Then all of a sudden I found myself on my knees in front of the Bishop carrying the Blessed Sacrament! I felt wholly well, as if reborn, and all my pain had vanished.
“After the Bishop had finished blessing the sick and had entered the Rosary Basilica, I rose from my knees without any support and, accompanied by Dr. Jerger, returned to my bed in Accueil Notre Dame. Our pilgrimage doctors all examined me immediately. They could in no way explain what had just happened and despite my protests told me to stay there. I would have much preferred to go to the Grotto to pray! I prayed and thanked the Lord all through the night without sleeping a wink.”
The next morning he wanted something to eat, but the doctor said, “It’s a long while since you have had a normal meal. You must go carefully, giving your stomach time to readjust!” Despite this warning, he “headed off to the Swiss dining room and polished off everything I could lay hands on—milk, coffee, bread, butter, cheese, sausage! I downed enough for four men and suffered no consequences.”
That morning, he was examined by a team of 18 doctors at the Medical Bureau. He was questioned for four hours and then examined again in the afternoon.
During the examination, “I was told what happened: The doctor who followed behind the Bishop, and also some sick people who had been close to me, testified that I had been projected forcefully out of my wheelchair directly onto my knees! I did not rise up and kneel; I was ejected onto my knees! I’m sure it rocked the Bishop! I myself knew nothing of this. I came to consciousness on my knees.
He returned often over the next several years and was examined numerous times by doctors at the Medical Bureau. Six and a half years after his healing, his case was accepted by the Medical Bureau as “medically inexplicable.” During this time, the bishop of his diocese had convened a separate commission to examine his case. On December 8, 1960, the commission affirmed his cure was “miraculous.”
Excerpts taken from Healing Fire of Christ, by Paul Glynn, Paul (San Francisco, Ignatius Press, 2003) p. 75-83.