Floribeth Mora was dying of an aneurysm in Costa Rica about three years ago. Doctors had determined it was inoperable.
As Mora laid in her bed and waited to die, however, she noticed a photograph of Pope John Paul II in a Costa Rican newspaper someone in her room was reading.
"Stand up," Mora says the picture of the pope said to her. "Don't be afraid."
Mora, along with her her doctors in Costa Rica and the Catholic Church she is a member of say her aneurysm disappeared that day in a miracle. That very miracle cleared the way for Pope John Paul II to be declared a saint. He will be named a saint on April 27th during a ceremony at the Vatican where Floribeth Mora will be a guest of honor.
For Mora, the church-certified miracle was only the start of her incredible transformation from near death into an adored symbol of faith for not just thousands of Costa Ricans, but also for Catholics around the world.
Floribeth Mora is 50 years old. She lives in a modest home in a Costa Rican neighborhood where streams of visitors bring letters for her to give to Pope Francis when she visits the Vatican. She accepts invitations to attend as many as four Masses every day.
"With all of this going on I appreciate having my own business, because if I had a boss, they would have already fired me for missing so much work," she joked.
She says she ignores naysayers who don't believe she was healed.
"Everyone can think what they want," she said during an interview. "What I know is that I am healthy."
Floribeth Mora was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm and sent home to rest and take pain medication back in April of 2011 after her doctors said the condition was inoperable. Mora, who thought she was returning home to die, looked at the image of Pope John Paul II on May 1st, the day of John Paul's beatification six years after his death.
She says the photo actually spoke to her.
She shocked her family members by walking around after her doctors declared her healed, and word spread quickly to her local Catholic church. From there, it made its way to the Vatican.
Today Floribeth Mora says she was called by God to speak to others about her miracle. Some scoff at the notion, suggesting that perhaps she suffered from mental illness or a vivid imagination.
"I've got so much to do that I'm going to dedicate myself above all to telling the world the story of God's greatness and what it's done for me," she said.
These days Floribeth looks tired, but says she feels great. None of her symptoms have ever returned. She knows she owes her life to John Paul.
"It's important for them to name him a saint, but for me he's already a saint," she said. "I never imagined I would become a part of all of this."
Image via YouTube