On the Road to Sainthood: Recognition of the “Unexplainable cure” by the Servant of God Giuseppe Ambrosoli
Comboni Missionary Fr. Giuseppe Ambrosoli dedicated his life to helping the people of Kalongo, Uganda.
On December 17, 2015 Pope Francis recognized the heroic virtues of Fr. Giuseppe Ambrosoli, an Italian surgeon, priest and missionary. This is the first of several steps on the road to being named a saint.
In May 2019, the cause for Servant of God Giuseppe Ambrosoli was furthered when the medical commission instituted by the Congregation for the Cause of Saints recognized as “extraordinary and unexplainable” from the clinical and scientific point of view the cure of a young Ugandan woman, as published in the digital newspaper, La Provincia.
It is now up to the Theological Commission of the same Congregation, made up of cardinals, bishops and theologians, to look for proofs of the intercession of Fr. Giuseppe Ambrosoli, before declaring the miracle which is decisive for the beatification of the Comboni doctor.
“I do not speak of miracle. I speak of an extraordinary and unexplainable cure. I speak of converging witnesses: everyone, on that night of October 25, called on Fr. Giuseppe,” said Fr. Egidio Tocalli, himself a Comboni missionary doctor and successor of Fr. Giuseppe in Kalongo, Uganda.
On the night of October 25, 2008 – explains La Provincia – a 20 year old Uganda woman, Lucia Lomokol, was dying of Septicemia (blood poisoning) after losing the baby she was carrying. In the hospital in northern Uganda, where she had been brought in extreme conditions, there were no other means, there was no hope to save her. But Dr. Eric Dominic, originally from Turin, placed on her pillow the holy card of Fr. Giuseppe and asked the relatives the pray to the “great doctor,” who had died on March 27, 1987 in Uganda, when he was forced to abandon the mission and his hospital that had been torched by guerrilla fighters. The next morning, Lucia had recovered, was alive and no one thought it would be possible.
Who was Fr. Giuseppe Ambrosoli?
Fr. Ambrosoli was assigned to Kalongo, Uganda in 1956 where we served as a Parish Priest and took charge of running the local dispensary. The dispensary was started in a grass hut by Comboni Missionary Sister Eletta Mantiero in 1934. Soon after she started delivering babies and attending to medical and pediatric patients.
In 1957 Fr. Giuseppe began transforming the dispensary into a full-fledged hospital. At that time the dispensary was treating many leprosy patients. Fr. Giuseppe revolutionized the care for leprosy patients by admitting them to the same hospital as other patients instead of confining them to the often neglected and poorly managed leprosarium.
Today the Kalongo Hospital, recently renamed the Dr. Ambrosoli Memorial Hospital, is a 350-bed facility that treats nearly 60,000 patients every year.
Another of Fr. Giuseppe’s achievements was establishing the St. Mary’s School of Midwifery in 1959.