It's been just over a year since the old convent in St. Adolphe was torn down, and the demolition of that building marked the end to the Miracle Room. A committee is in place to try and make sure what happened during the winter of 1922 is not soon forgotten.
Chris Ewen is Mayor for the Rural Municipality of Ritchot. He is also part of this committee. Ewen explains Sister Julie-Pauline fell sick with tuberculosis in 1915. She became so sick that she had to leave Bellegarde, Saskatchewan in order to live at the Sisters' infirmary in St. Adolphe. In 1921, doctors determined her illness to be incurable and considered her death imminent.
History says Sister Julie-Pauline was inspired on the night of February 20, 1922, to ask to be cured by the Venerable Andre-Hubert Fournet, founder of Les Filles de la Croix. She began a novena, consisting of nine days of prayer, but showed no signs of improvement. After a second novena, her condition only got worse. But then on March 10, 1922, Sister Julie-Pauline stepped out of bed and got dressed without pain or weakness.
Over the course of the following days and weeks, a medical examination determined she was in perfect health. And, several months later, doctors concluded her cure was beyond ordinary laws of nature.
Ewen says eventually the Vatican learned of this and sent the Devil's Advocate to prove this wasn't a miracle. But he says the Catholic Church could not argue the results and recognized the cure as a miracle.
"It's classified as a true miracle which I think is an amazing thing to hear that Manitoba has something like that here," says Ewen. "If you go into the Vatican, it's written down there in their books, so it's neat, it's very neat."
Ewen says it is his understanding that Sister Julie-Pauline's room was left untouched following the miracle. She eventually moved to France to live out the rest of her life.
"It was left untouched and unused because of the importance it has for St. Adolphe and the religious area around it," says Ewen.
But then in May of 2017, a new home was needed for the artifacts because of the demolition of the convent. Ewen says the artifacts were sent to the Niverville Heritage Centre but have since been returned to St. Adolphe where they are now waiting to be displayed in their permanent home.
According to Ewen, the artifacts consist of a bed frame, a vase and portraits.
Though he is Mayor, Ewen says he only just recently heard of this story. He says the miracle is remarkable and people should be given the opportunity to learn more about it and understand the story.
Ewen says as a committee they are now welcoming suggestions from the public on where to appropriately display the Miracle Room's artifacts on a permanent basis.