A TV repair man with a paralyzed left leg went on a 1,000-mile-plus hike after being cured following a trip to Lourdes. The incredible recovery of Serge Francois, 40, is now set to become the 68th official miracle at the Roman Catholic shrine in the foothills of the Pyrenees, in south west France.

After regaining the use of his leg, Mr Francois walked the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, the pilgrim’s route spanning France and Spain, and known in English as The Way of St James. Mr Francois, from La Salle-et-Chapelle-Aubry, western France, said he felt a warm glow spread down his herniated leg during a visit to Lourdes in 2002.

He had been praying at the grotto where local schoolgirl Bernadette Soubirous was said to have had visions of the Virgin Mary in 1858, and all of his suffering suddenly disappeared. Mr Francois reported what happened to the International Medical Committee of Lourdes (CMIL) and 20 doctors have now concluded that it was indeed ‘remarkable’.

Archbishop Emmanuel Delmas, Bishop of Angers, said: ‘This healing can be considered a personal gift from God to man, as an event of grace, as a sign of Christ the Saviour.’ Archbishop Delmas said Mr Francois’s case would now be examined further before it officially goes down as the 68th miracle. He said that because of advances in medical science it was becoming increasingly difficult to officially class a remarkable healing as a miracle.

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