On Sunday April 14, 2002, the Holy Father John Paul II
held the solemn ceremony in the Vatican
for the Beatification of the Venerable
On April 24, 2001, Pope John Paul II had signed the final decree recognizing a miracle attributed to Ven. Gaetano Errico, founder of the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
The miracle attributed to Gaetano Errico occurred on January 9, 1952 to Salvatore and Gaetana Caccioppoli.
On January 9, 2001, the Assembly of Cardinals and Bishops of the Congregation for the Causes Saints had concluded the trial and unanimously approved the miracle attributed to Venerable Gaetano Errico.
Prior to the miracle being considered in Rome, the theologians and medical doctors of the Archdiocesan Tribunal in Naples, Italy, studied the miracle, and approved it on October 20, 1999.
Then, on March 20, 2000, the committee of experts of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, at the Vatican, composed of internationally renowned medical doctors, considered the events that surrounded the miracle.
Their vote was unanimous when they answered the following questions:
Diagnosis: Is this a case of acute abdomen with perforated duodenal ulcer, with peritonitis? Yes.
Prognosis: Is this condition lethal if not treated with surgical intervention? Yes.
Treatment: Was any therapy given? No.
Recovery: Was the recovery extremely rapid, complete, lasting, scientifically unexplainable? Yes.
The Venerable Gaetano Errico was born in Secondigliano, a section of the city of Naples, Italy, on October 19, 1791. He was ordained a priest in 1815. In 1836 he founded the Congregation of the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Pope Pius IX approved the Congregation in 1846. Venerable Gaetano Errico died on October 29, 1860. Pope Leo XIII declared him Venerable in December 1884. Pope John Paul VIproclaimed the heroism of his virtues on October 4, 1974. His remains are buried in the church of Our Lady of Sorrows in the Secondigliano section of Naples, Italy.
Salvatore and Gaetana Caccioppoli, received the miracle attributed to the Venerable Gaetano Errico.
Gaetana Moretti was born in Secondigliano. She was named after the Venerable Gaetano Errico. During her childhood and young adult years she was an assiduous member of the church of Our Lady of Sorrows, and developed a firm devotion to the virtues of the Venerable Gaetano Errico.
When she married Salvatore Caccioppoli and moved to Castellammare di Stabia, she brought with her images, a relic, books and other devotional items related to Ven. Errico, and stayed in touch with the Missionaries. One of them remained her spiritual director.
From the sworn statement of Dr. Bartolo Quartuccio, MD, Family Physician; “I went to visit the sick man again in the afternoon, and found that his condition was much deteriorated and such to confirm the extremely grave prognosis already formulated in the morning. I had to confirm the request for immediate surgical intervention. Instead, he has rapidly recovered from that grave illness without the help of any medicine or any other cure. This makes me think that some sort of supernatural and divine intervention has contributed to his recovery, since, as a medical doctor, I can’t explain how the recovery has happened.”
From the sworn statement of Dr. Guglielmo di Nola, MD, General Surgeon: “The patient, who had refused admission to the hospital, all of a sudden felt better. His condition was so much improved that the surgical intervention was no longer necessary. We marveled greatly at what was happening, because, given the evident anatomo-pathological situation, we were not able to explain how this spontaneous recovery could have happened. For that reason we really have to admit that supernatural forces have acted in his behalf”.
In the following description, the words in quotes are taken from the sworn statements handwritten by Salvatore and Gaetana Caccioppoli.
On January 9, 1952, at around 9:30 in the morning, Salvatore, felt “atrocious stomach pain that later extended to the abdomen”. He had been “suffering of stomach” problems for many years. Gaetana had “just returned from the daily Mass as usual”.
She heard “a moaning”, and ran and found Salvatore “contorted on the floor in great pain”. She “asked for help” from neighbors, and “sent for the family physician”. “He came at about 10:00 AM”, and examined the patient.
He stated that Salvatore had a “duodenal perforation”, and noted “the abdomen” was “as hard as wood” and asked for “immediate consultation with a surgeon”.
“The surgeon arrived at around 12:00” noon. After the examination “he stated that the illness was extremely serious, and confirmed the diagnosis of stomach perforation, ordered immediate surgical intervention, and suggested calling the children who were living away from home”.
An ambulance was called to transport Salvatore to a hospital in Naples, for the surgical procedure. “Around 4:00 PM”, Gaetana “remembered having a relic of the Superior Gaetano Errico” She “gave it to him to be kissed”. Salvatore stated “I remember very well that while I was kissing the relic I said in a whisper ‘my Superior, help me’”.
“Oh! Great prodigy,” Gaetana wrote, “from that moment on, my husband’s illness changed course. His temperature and pulse went back to normal, and he that was like a corpse started to improve. The abdominal pain decreased and started diffusing to the ribs and the right shoulder. He even asked several times for a glass of water”.
When the time came to be transported to the hospital for the surgical procedure Salvatore stated: “I feel well. I don’t want to get out of the bed. There is like an arcane voice telling me not to have any surgery.” When the doctors examined him again he got out of bed and felt well.
An x-ray taken on March 26, 1952, confirmed that the ulcer, clearly visible in previous x-rays, had disappeared.