"I stood up and gave [my doctor] my cane," Amaral remembered, "and for five minutes, he said nothing." Physicians and therapists working with Amaral could find no precedent for a condition as serious as his reversing itself.
"I do not have a medical reason" for the remarkable recovery, Amaral's doctor wrote.
Landry said there is no doubt in his mind that John Paul II performed a miracle for Amaral.
"I've on many occasions used Amaral in the preaching here, so that all parishioners know that the miracles that they read about in the gospels didn't just happen 2,000 years ago in the Middle East... but that the same Lord who lovingly worked those miracles continues to work them here in New Bedford," Landry said.
Amaral's family said they live with the blessings of that miracle every day. And his parents, brothers, daughter and sister are certain who interceded in granting it: Pope John Paul II. Through prayers to him, they believe, Amaral's abiding faith was rewarded.
Amaral's daughter Rachel is convinced that the late Pope intervened. "It's just amazing... all of a sudden he just got up and walked," she said. "To me that's a miracle."
Amaral's case could figure in the potential conferring of sainthood on the late pope. All candidates for sainthood require proof of intervention in two confirmed miracles. Potential miracles are rigorously investigated by teams of Vatican physicians.
With the fifth anniversary of Pope John Paul II's death falling on April 2, officials at the Vatican say they are examining Amaral's case -- along with more than 240 other alleged miracles attributed to the late pope.