Approval of a miracle attributed to Blessed Josemaria Escriva

On December 20, 2001, Pope John Paul II approved the decree of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints on a miracle attributed to the founder of Opus Dei.[1] The chronic radiodermititis, an incurable illness, suffered by Doctor Manuel Nevado Rey disappeared in November 1992, after the intercession of Blessed Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer was invoked.


Radiodermititis is a condition typical of doctors whose hands have been exposed to high levels of radiation over an extended period. Today the affliction has become rare since it was caused by the type of X-ray machines used back in the 50s and 60s, which lacked adequate protective measures. During those years, various specialists frequently developed radiodermititis on their hands, especially radiologists, pediatricians who held children in their hands while examining them with X-rays, and orthopedic surgeons who worked on fractured bones under X-rays.

This incurable condition progresses inexorably until with the passage of years it causes the development of skin cancers. The only known treatment is surgical (skin grafts and the amputation of the parts of the hands affected).

The intercession of Blessed Josemaria

Doctor Manuel Nevado Rey, who was born in 1932 in Spain, is an orthopedic specialist. For almost fifteen years he treated fractures and other lesions while exposing his hands to X-rays. He received his medical degree in 1955 from the University of Salamanca, and began to carry out this type of surgery in 1956. The first symptoms of the condition began to appear in 1962. The radiodermititis on his hands grew progressively worse until around 1984 he had to limit himself to minor surgery. In the summer of 1992 he had to give up all surgical activity.

In November 1992, Dr. Nevado met Luis Eugenio Bernardo, an agronomist who worked in a Spanish government office. Upon noticing the doctor’s hands, he offered Dr. Nevado a prayer card of the founder of Opus Dei, who had been beatified on May 17 of that year. He suggested that he pray for a cure through Blessed Josemaria’s intercession.

The cure

After this meeting, Dr. Nevado began praying to Blessed Josemaria. A few days later, he and his wife traveled to Vienna to take part in a medical congress. They visited various churches and found prayer cards of Blessed Josemaria in all of them. “Seeing these prayer cards everywhere,” Doctor Nevado explains, “encouraged me to increase my prayers for a cure.”

From the day he began going to the intercession of Blessed Josemaria, his hands started to improve. In about two weeks, the lesions disappeared completely. In January 1993, Dr. Nevado began carrying out surgical operations again.

[1] See decree on page. 156.

Romana, n. 33, July-December 2001, p. 196-197.

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