Reflections on Jimena's possible miracle at WYD

During WYD Lisbon 2023, a healing took place that some, like the author of this article, consider miraculous. It is up to the Church to determine if it is really a supernatural event.

Sergio Gascón Valverde-August 21, 2023-Reading time: 10 minutes

The Pope prays in Fatima at WYD Lisbon 2023 ©OSV

For Christians, things do not happen by chance. God's Providence guides and takes care of us. God continues to speak to man. He does it through the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ spoke through signs (miracles) and words. His way of explaining his teaching was typical of his culture and his Aramaic language, that is, through parables, symbolic images, etc. This way of communicating is better understood by men of all times because it is directed to the heart of man and not only to his understanding.

These signs and images used by Jesus are a source of light for the heart of man when he tries to ponder ("meditate") them in his heart. St. Luke explicitly says that the behavior of Jesus as an adolescent (full of theological and anthropological symbolism) is difficult to understand, Mary, for her part, kept all these things, meditating on them in her heart. (Lk 2:19).

In recent times God has communicated very clear messages through his most holy Daughter, Mother and Spouse, the Virgin Mary. And He continues to do so with signs (miracles) and images, events that are worth pondering in the heart, in the spirit of the Gospel teaching that the Church preserves and teaches.

In this miracle there are some circumstances, signs and images that encourage consideration and pondering. That is why I have been encouraged to write about it.

The miracle

Jimena is a 16-year-old Spanish girl who is going to WYD '23 in Lisbon with a group of friends on a trip organized by a youth club and an Opus Dei school in Madrid. For two and a half years she had lost the 95% of her sight. The doctors had labeled it incurable. She had begun to study the Braille reading system. Before the trip - she says - she felt that the Virgin was going to cure her and asked her parents, family and friends to pray a novena to the Virgin of the Snows, whose feast is celebrated on August 5, to ask for her cure. With faith, they started that novena and she went to WYD. On Saturday, August 5, she attended Holy Mass as she used to do on those days of WYD. Jimena went to communion. She began to cry. Filled with tears during the thanksgiving after Communion, she opened her eyes and could see perfectly. She herself tells about it in an audio that has spread through the social networks.

My thoughts

1. God continues to work miracles when He wants, how He wants and to whom He wants. Why to Jimena he does and not to others. God knows what suits each soul. For some, it is not convenient for the Lord to work a miracle for them because they know that it will not do them any good or, by not doing it, they will achieve better things for themselves and for those who are with them. On the other hand, to work miracles, Our Lord asks us for faith and trust in Him. Jimena believed, she was convinced that Our Lady would cure her. That is why she asked her family and friends to start a novena to Our Lady of the Snows.1 whose feast is celebrated on August 5 and on the day the novena of prayers ended. And with that conviction, physically blind, she went to Lisbon to participate in WYD '23. Why the novena to the Virgin of the Snows, I do not know. We will have to ask her.

Jimena's father, tells ACI Prensa with simplicity and integrity the details of what he defines as "a leap in faith" and a "gift from the Virgin Mary for WYD".

To see, we must accept from the heart the will of God the good Father. He knows what is best for each one of us and in each circumstance..

2. Need to cry to see. Jimena comes to communion blind at Mass on August 5. She takes communion, goes back to her pew and begins to cry without stopping, with her eyes closed. At the end, with her eyes full of tears, she opens her eyes and sees perfectly.

It seems as if the Lord tells us that it is important to see but that we can only truly see if we first learn to cry. Pope Francis in the Philippines in 2015, in a spontaneous way, explained the need to cry as a way to explain things that have no answer (in this case it was the child prostitution suffered by that poor girl who while asking the Pope broke into tears due to the memories of the experience she had gone through). Here you can see it:

We need to purify the heart in order to see. Crying is a bodily expression of what is happening in the heart. We men suffer all kinds of experiences in life. Many of them leave traces in the heart. We cannot hide them or keep them quiet. Crying helps to bring them out and to share them with others who welcome the suffering or the joy that weeping produces. It is especially necessary to weep for personal sins and the sins of men, to weep for the presence of evil in the world, for the deceit of the devil into which so many souls fall.

Just the day before, the Pope spoke during his Stations of the Cross address about the need to weep. He said the following:

Jesus walks and waits with his love, he waits with his tenderness, to comfort us, to wipe away our tears. I ask you a question now, but do not answer it out loud, each of you answer it to yourself: do I cry from time to time? Are there things in life that make me cry? We have all wept in life, and we still weep. And there Jesus is with us, He weeps with us, because He accompanies us in the darkness that leads us to weeping. each one of us says it to Him now, in silence.

Jesus, with His tenderness, wipes away our hidden tears. Jesus hopes to fill, with his closeness, our loneliness. How sad are the moments of loneliness! He is there, he wants to fill that loneliness. Jesus wants to fill our fear, your fear, my fear, those dark fears He wants to fill with His consolation.

Each one of us think of our own suffering, think of our own anxiety, think of our own miseries. Do not be afraid, think about them. And think of the desire for the soul to smile again.

Jimena has a great sorrow in her heart that makes her suffer a lot and she cries at the moment of communion and asks full of faith for her healing. It seems as if the Lord wants to remind us that we must learn to open our hearts to God and weep for our miseries so that compunction and true love may cleanse and purify the presence of evil in our hearts. But it is necessary to weep before Jesus Christ who heals us. And we find Jesus Christ in our heart and in the Eucharist. Crying before other people can console and help, but it does not heal in depth. Weeping before Jesus Christ consoles and heals the heart. Our Lord continues to be the same, He continues to heal the men and women of our time.

To see we first need to learn to cry for what really matters in life.

3. Blind people see. It strikes me that the miracle takes place in a blind person and not, for example, in a paralytic, a deaf person or in any other type of handicap. It seems as if the Lord, through Our Lady, is telling us to see. To those who know that they are blind to the things of God and recognize it, He confirms - if they ask for help with faith - that they can see or recover their sight, if at some point they lost it; To those who do not see and say they see, He tells them the same with this miracle: that they see the truth, not their truth. The devil with his lies blurs our sight and leaves us blind by promoting pride in us. Pride that blinds and does not allow us to recognize and accept the things that have happened in our life, our personal mistakes or the mistakes of others committed against us. With humility and faith, as Jimena does, we have to ask God through the Blessed Virgin to see the important things in life that can only be seen with the heart.

To see, we need to recognize and accept that we do not see, and want to see.

4. The Eucharist and Our Lady. The miracle takes place during the celebration of Holy Mass and just after Jimena receives the Body of Jesus Christ in communion. It seems that God wants to make clear the centrality of the Eucharist in the life of the Church. The Eucharist, the greatest and greatest miracle that takes place on earth every day. It is as if God wants to confirm that we have to take care of the Eucharist. The Eucharist makes the Church. This is the title of the last encyclical of St. John Paul II. Without the Eucharist the Church would disappear. It is as if the Lord wants to emphasize the need to adore, celebrate and take care of the Eucharist. In the Eucharist, Jesus Christ is the center and root of Christian life or, as the Second Vatican Council says, the source and summit of the Church's life.

Faith moves the heart of Jesus Christ. Jimena herself says in her audio, "this has been a test of faith". We Christians are always before the proof of faith of the presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. He is there with His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. Either one believes or one does not believe. And if one believes, one must be consistent with the immensity of God's love that this implies. This supposes: to go to Him in the Eucharist to praise Him, to adore Him, to make reparation to Him, to thank Him, to impetrate Him. The Blessed Virgin brings us to her Son in the Eucharist. To the three little shepherd seers of Fatima, before the first apparition of Our Lady, an angel appeared several times. In his last apparition, he gave them the Body and Blood of Jesus to receive communion under the two species. The apparitions of the Blessed Virgin followed.

Jimena, family and friends made a novena to Our Lady of the Snows. They asked the Virgin Mary. Once again, she answered the prayers of a little girl. Our Lady always attends to the prayers of her children. God in his providence grants what is asked for. Mary undoubtedly and by faith, intercedes in a special way for us. The Lord has once again made clear the powerful intercession of his Mother, Mediatrix of all graces. He wants us to ask through his Mother. Our Lady is with the young. She does not abandon young people who do not see or do not want to see. She opens our eyes to the mystery of her Son.

To see we need to see Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. To achieve this, Mary is the shortest and surest way.

5. The context of the miracle. This miracle took place at a very specific moment: it occurred in a very special context of ecclesial communion, the WYD. 1.5 million young people gathered by Pope Francis and with the participation of dozens of bishops from all over the world and hundreds of priests from the five continents. On that day, August 5, the Pope was in Fatima. About 200,000 pilgrims had come to pray to Our Lady together with Francis, who curiously was accompanied by sick young people who had not been able to attend the WYD. Fatima, a Marian shrine so closely linked to recent events in human history. The diffusion of its message and history is universal.

It seems as if the Lord, through Our Lady, is asking us: keep yourselves united, in communion with my Vicar on earth, around my Mother. Keep your unity. Pray together, work together, suffer together and hearts will see. And at the same time she asks us to bear witness to the graces we receive. In Jimena's case it was also a corporal grace. And all this communion that was experienced at WYD, the joy of faith, all this must be witnessed in today's world, especially by young people.

To see we need to be united with the Pope and with each other, the children of the Church. Seeing together to walk together.


Nowadays we are saturated with audiovisual images of things, sometimes very shocking. And one gets used to seeing things that a few years ago we found fascinating or very shocking. Now, really, on Youtube, Tiktok, etc., few things amaze us anymore.

With this miracle live, in the middle of WYD, with the Pope present, with 1.5 million young people, Our Lord and his Mother have given us this grace that we cannot let pass by as just another video on Tiktok or Youtube. No. We must stop to think and above all to pray. We must ponder things in the presence of God, as Our Lady and the saints did. And there receive the lights of the Holy Spirit that He wants to send us.

Especially those of us who have participated in this WYD have a greater sensitivity to do so. But especially the young people of today, Christians or not, should do it. 1.5 million young people together with a venerable old man of 86 years singing and adoring Jesus Christ and his Mother is not a superficial matter. And if, in addition, there has been a patent miraculous event like Jimena's, it would be sad to remain indifferent.

As an anecdotal comment. The environment of Christian formation in which Jimena has grown up, both in her family and in school, is that of the spirituality of Opus Dei. This preaches the universal call to holiness in ordinary life. The charism that the Holy Spirit instilled in the founder of Opus Dei, St. Josemaría Escrivá, inspires us to seek Jesus Christ in the most ordinary of daily life without expecting or looking for extraordinary things. St. Josemaría himself (who received extraordinary graces in his life, carried out with total discretion) said in this sense: I am not a miracle worker. I have written for years, and I have said so many times by word of mouth, that the miracles of the Gospel are enough for me. But if I were to affirm that I do not touch God, that I do not feel the full force of his Omnipotence, I would be lying!2

The fact that I come from a family and Christian environment that is not very prone to miracles or "miracles", but on the contrary, to ordinary Christian life and daily work, makes me see on the one hand the good humor of God, and on the other hand, makes me think with more conviction that God has wanted to speak to us through this miracle through Mary's intercession.

And on another occasion St. Josemaría said: Our life does not contain miracles. It contains, instead, our daily trifles, our work well done, our life of piety and, above all, the ineffable complement of the strength and Omnipotence of God. But we cannot be satisfied with the personal ambition to reach Heaven alone: if we are truly united to God and trust in God, we will see to it that all souls know the Lord and follow him, loving his commands.3

For this, Mary speaks to us once again through Jimena and WYD. She commands us to take care of ourselves in the 21st century. that all souls may know the Lord and follow him, loving his commands.

1 It is the invocation of the Virgin venerated in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. It is the oldest temple dedicated to the Virgin in the West. It dates from the second half of the fourth century. The Virgin appeared to a Roman couple and simultaneously to Pope Liberius. The Virgin asked them to build a temple there to honor her. The place to build it would be on one of the hills of Rome where it would have snowed. So, on a hot August 5, it snowed on the Esquiline Hill where the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore has stood ever since. The famous icon of the Madonna is located there. Salus Populi Romani. In Rome she is very much venerated. This is the image that Pope Francis always visits before and after every trip he makes outside of Rome.

2 JAVIER ECHEVARRÍA, Memoria del Beato Josemaría Escrivá (Interview with Salvador Bernal), Rialp, 2nd edition, Madrid 2000, pp. 175-176.

3 JAVIER ECHEVARRÍA, Memories of Blessed Josemaría Escrivá (Interview with Salvador Bernal), Rialp, 2nd ed.

The authorSergio Gascón Valverde

In collaboration with
Do you want independent, truthful and relevant news?

Dear reader, Omnes reports with rigor and depth on religious news. We do a research work that allows the reader to acquire criteria on the events and stories that happen in the Catholic sphere and the Church. We have star signatures and correspondents in Rome who help us to make the background information stand out from the media noise, with ideological distance and independence.

We need you to face the new challenges of a changing media landscape and a reality that demands reflection, we need your support.

In collaboration with
La Brújula Newsletter Leave us your email and receive every week the latest news curated with a catholic point of view.