DOCTORS are set to test a grandad’s claims that his inoperable cancer was miraculously cured by holy water at Lourdes.
Kazik Stepan, 71, visited the sacred Roman Catholic site in France as in his teens after he was diagnosed with a tumour on his spinal cord that left him unable to walk.
Doctors feared he would not survive the pilgrimage but Kazik, from Kent, believes that after bathing in holy water there he was able to walk for the first time in months.
He is due to revisit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, in the foothills of the Pyrenees in south-western France, on a new episode of Songs of Praise.
While there his miraculous claim will be assessed by 30 doctors from the International Medical Committee of Lourdes.
The medics must be certain that Kazik’s illness was incurable before they can decide if he was “blessed with a permanent recovery”.
I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES The history of Our Lady at Lourdes
LOURDES is one of the most famous holy sites in the world.
Millions of pilgrims flock to the site every year in the hope of a miraculously curing their ailments.
It is believed that the Virgin Mary repeatedly appeared to Saint Bernadette Soubrious there in 1858.
The shrine in the grotto holds water which is believed to have miraculous healing properties.
While there have been more than 7,000 miraculous recoveries attributed to the French shrine, only 70 cases have been officially recognised by the Catholic Church.
The most recent miracle was certified last year when a French nun had her back pain cured after visiting the site.
He visited Lourdes in 1965 and believes he was granted the “present of life”.
Water at the site flows from the Grotto of Massabielle and is believed by some Catholics to have healing properties.
Speculation about the French cave began in 1858 when the spring’s location is said to have been revealed by Our Lady of Lourdes – a Catholic title for the Virgin Mary of the faith – to Saint Bernadette Soubirous.
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Around 100 people claim to have been healed by the miracle water every year, but the Catholic Church has only recognised 70 miracles linked to the site.
If doctors confirm Kazik’s claim, he will be the first Briton to have his cure verified. They will announce their decision next month.
The Songs of Praise episode covering his return will airs on BBC1 on September 15.
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