The First Tribunal concerning Dora Visser, Archdiocese of Utrecht
Candidate-blessed Dora Visser is accredited with a miracle
Utrecht: Dora Visser has been accredited with a “medically unexplainable” miracle. That is the conclusion of a Church Tribunal which has investigated this miracle at the intercession of the candidate-blessed. This was announced by the Archdiocese of Utrecht yesterday.
The tribunal, set up by Cardinal Simonis in March, has completed its investigation as part of the cause for the beatification of Dora Visser (1819-1876), whose grave in Olburgen, Gelderland, has drawn people seeking her intercession since 1965.
For a beatification, the Roman Catholic Church must recognise one miracle as having occurred at the intercession of the candidate-blessed. The tribunal has heard the practising physician and external medical experts concerning the possibly miraculous healing. Two sealed copies of the case file will go to the Vatican, where the Congregation for the Causes of Saints will continue the procedure.
Along with the miracle, investigation is also required into the life of Dora Visser, her virtues, and the degree to which her veneration has arisen.
Visser, who could hardly walk as a result of an injury to her right leg, and who suffered from a urinary tract condition, led a life of prayer and fasting.
She is said to have received the crucifixion wounds of Christ (stigmata) for the first time in 1843. These wounds would return many times until her death.
In and around Gendringen, her place of residence, Visser had a reputation of holiness already during her lifetime, but also raised criticism. In 1844 her doctor published a brochure in which he defended her experiences. Her confessor, Father Antonius Kerkhof, was also convinced of her holiness and kept a journal of the miraculous happenings in her life.
The reporter Bert Kerkhoffs started the veneration of Dorothea Visser in 1965 with his edited version of Kerkhof’s journals.
The commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of her death in 1976 and an exhibition about her life in 1991-1992 brought a new wave of faithful visitors to her grave.