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Miracle Woman Floribeth Mora Carries John Paul II Relic

Image: Pope Francis receives the relic of Pope John Paul II from Floribeth Mora
Pope Francis receives the relic of Pope John Paul II from Floribeth Mora during a solemn ceremony in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, on April 27, 2014. Alessandra Tarantino / AP

The relic of new saint John Paul II was brought to the altar by Floribeth Mora, a Costa Rican woman whose 2011 recovery from an inoperable brain aneurism was declared the miracle needed to canonize John Paul. The same relic — his blood — was also used for his 2011 beatification.

On a warm spring day, Floribeth Mora was in her bed waiting to die from a seemingly inoperable brain aneurysm when her gaze fell upon a photograph of Pope John Paul II in a newspaper.

"Stand up," Mora recalls the image of the pope saying to her. "Don't be afraid."

Image: Floribeth Mora holds the relic of Pope John Paul II
Costa Rican Floribeth Mora holds the relic of Pope John Paul II during his canonization Mass at St Peter's on April 27,2014 in Vatican City, Vatican. Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

Mora, her doctors and the Catholic Church say her aneurysm disappeared that day in a miracle that cleared the way for the late pope to be declared a saint on April 27 in a ceremony at the Vatican where Mora will be a guest of honor.

For Mora, the church-certified miracle was only the start of her metamorphosis from an ill and desperate woman into an adored symbol of faith for thousands of Costa Ricans and Catholics around the world.

— The Associated Press