Cancer Survivor Arthur Boyle says "Holy Place" saved him.

Cancer Survivor Says 'Holy Place' Saved Him
Dire Diagnosis Leads Man on Spiritual Journey
Nov. 12, 2004
abc news

While many cancer survivors have overcome seemingly insurmountable odds, Arthur Boyle says his story is nothing short of miraculous.
The Boston man's fight began when he was diagnosed with cancer of the kidney. The situation became desperate when doctors realized the cancer had spread to his lungs.
"When I was rediagnosed, there was a tremendous depression and it felt like a death sentence," Boyle said on ABC News' "Good Morning America."
Boyle, the father of 13 children, said he could not imagine not being around to coach his kids' hockey games, see their smiles or grow old with his beloved wife of 30 years.
Boyle, who is Catholic, says his faith was severely tested, but he continued to pray for a miracle that would save him. As he hoped and prayed for a cure, Boyle decided it was time to set out on a spiritual journey to a mystical place he had wondered about for many years.
A Pilgrimage to Bosnia
Motivated by faith and a determination to live, Boyle made the journey to Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a place where many believe miracles have occured.
Medjugorje became a popular destination for pilgrims more than two decades ago, when the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared there before six children.
Boyle said he believes the journey there saved his life.
"It was over in Medjugorje where the depression lifted. And I believe I was healed," he said.
When Boyle returned home, a CAT scan showed that one nodule on his lung had disappeared and two others had shrunk to an insignificant size.
His physician, Dr. Francis McGovern of Massachusetts General Hospital, says the sudden change was certainly uncommon.
"He has not received any other additional treatment. At this time we consider him without any evidence of cancer," McGovern said.
Boyle says he believes the spritual healing he received in Medjugorje allowed for the physical healing.
"I'm not a theologian. I'm not a priest. But I do know that forgivenes and confession are very powerful tools," he said.
True Believers
Boyle isn't alone in his belief that Medjugorje is a holy site. Some pilgrims have said they've witnessed rosary beads change color at Medjugorje. Others have said the spot smells of roses even when flowers aren't in sight. Some even say the sun looks like a pulsating heart when you stare at it from Medjugorje.
Many pilgrims say they believe these alleged episodes are all signs from the mother of Jesus. Believers say the signs began in 1981, when the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared before six children of Medjugorje.
Although that first sighting was reported 23 years ago, Ivan Dragicevic, who was one of those children, recalls it vividly.
"When we approached her she placed her hands over our heads and said her first words were, 'My children, I am with you. I'm your mother. Don't be afraid of anything. I will protect you,'" he said.
Dragicevic says he believes his calling -- spreading the word of the Virgin Mary and Jesus -- began on that unforgettable day. And he says the Virgin has appeared before him many times since.
"Messages of fast and penance, firm faith, love, forgiveness and messages of hope. These are the most important messages," Dragicevic said.
Boyle says he, like Dragicevic, is a believer for life.
"I'm not sure why I was healed, but I am grateful," Boyle said. "Some people are skeptical but all they have to do is look at me. I'm still here."

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