Blind woman regains her sight in miraculous recovery after praying to the relics of a Lebanese saint

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February 10, 2017

A blind woman who was told by doctors she would never see again claims she miraculously regained her vision days after praying to a saint.

Dafne Gutierrez from Phoenix, Arizona, went blind in her right eye in 2012 and lost vision in the other in November 2015.

Doctors diagnosed her with benign intracranial hypertension – a condition where pressure in the brain mounts and damages optical nerves.

The mother of three was told by her doctor that her affliction was 'irreversible' and that she would never be able to see again.

Despite the diagnosis Gutierrez remained hopeful she would regain her sight, with the ability to see her young children's faces again the main motivation.

'For me, I was like, "Please God, let me see those faces again. Let me be their mother again." Because I feel like (my kids) were watching me, taking care of me 24-7,' Gutierrez told WNCT

She took her prayers to St Joseph Maronite Catholic Church in Phoenix after learning that relics of Saint Charbel, a Lebanese monk, would be visiting the small church.

The 31-year-old said her body felt different immediately after she prayed to the relics.

She returned the following day for Sunday mass when she experienced a similar feeling.

The next morning she said she woke up in pain, but started to see shadows.

Gutierrez said: 'I was just wiping my eyes, and I'm like, "They burn! They burn!"'

On January 21 2016, three days later, doctors confirmed her eyesight was completely restored and that they couldn't provide a medical explanation as to why.

Dr Anne Borik, an internist who reviewed Gutierrez's case, said when benign intracranial hypertension causes blindness it is unlikely that eyesight will return.

She said: 'This is a condition where the pressure in the brain is so high that oftentimes it strangulates the optic nerves. Unfortunately once the blindness occurs, it's irreversible.'

'We took her to actually two other specialists to look at the eyes and see how can we explain this medically, and in fact there was really no medical explanation,' she continued.

Dr Borik said that Gutierrez was restored with 20/20 vision and that her patient showed no signs of damage to her optic nerve.

'After this happened, the optic nerve looked completely normal, with no signs of damage or atrophy,' she added

'There's nothing in the medical literature that anything like this had ever happened.'

Gutierrez was told by her sister-in-law that St Charbel was coming to her local church and that a blind boy in Mexico regained his vision after visiting the relics.

And she attributes her recovery to faith in God. 

'God gave me my vision back for a reason,' Gutierrez said.

'I want to be able to help others. I give testimony wherever I can because it's important for people to know that God does exist and he does hear us.'

Since the supposed miracle the St. Joseph Maronite Catholic Church has received visitors from across the world and a shrine to St. Charbel is being built with a three-ton statue set to arrive from Lebanon next month.

St. Charbel died aged 70 in 1898 in his native Lebanon after a life of severe asceticism. 

When he was a young man he left his family and entered the Monastery of Our Lady in Mayfouq to begin his training as a monk, later transferring to the Monastery of St. Maron in Annaya.

In the 23 years before his death St. Charbel was granted a hemitage at a monastery.

It is said a bright light surrounded his tomb months after his death and when his tomb was opened his body was still intact. His tomb was reopened in 1950 and 1952 with those present saying his body resembled a living one.

A number of miracles have been attributed to the saint including that of Nohad El Shami who claims she was healed from a partial paralysis after he and another monk appeared to her in a dream.

Read more:
Blind woman regains sight after visiting relics at Phoenix church | WNCT

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