17 July 2009
A Derry man has spoken for the first time about how he was miraculously healed from kidney disease by Padre Pio’s mitt.
Bogside born John Glenn, who now lives in California, was just ten years old when he was rushed to Altnagelvin Hospital after both his kidneys collapsed. Despite numerous treatments, doctors were baffled by his condition. It was only when the mitt of Padre Pio was placed over his back that John began to recover.
“I remember that time well because I had just started St Brigid’s College,” John recalled this week. “I had gained 50 or 60 pounds in a very short space of time.
“My parents sent me to see Dr Tom McGinley who admitted me to Altnagelvin Hospital where I spent six weeks on complete bed rest. I thought it was great because I got off school.”
However, When John’s condition didn’t improve and he was moved to Belfast City Hospital where he spent weeks undergoing tests.
“I had biopsies and was in an incubator,” John explained. “When the doctors came in to see me, they were dressed in masks and surgical suits.
“At one point, medics thought I might have leukaemia or even cancer. In fact, they were so baffled by my condition at one point they even thought I may have picked up a disease from the racing pigeons that I kept with my father.
“My parents and I lived in Belmont at that time.They’d heard about the mit of Padre Pio, and the whole community was talking about it. Someone, who I cannot remember, brought the Padre Pio mitt to my home and rubbed it all over my back and kidneys.
“I spent a further ten weeks in Belfast going through different tests. My kidneys healed over that time and to this day I know I was cured by the mitt of Padre Pio.”
John says that, while his family were religious and regular Sunday Mass goers, they never spoke much about his miraculous recovery.
“We all believed it was the mitt that healed me,” he said, “but it wasn’t something that we talked about to everyone else.
“I’m 44 now, and to this day I believe it was the mit of Padre Pio which made me better.
“I never go to sleep without saying a prayer to him and giving thanks. I live a happy and healthy life in California.”
John has lived in the USA for the past 14 years. However, he regularly returns to Derry to visit his two brothers and two sisters who still live in the city.
He now runs his own business, ‘Irish John’s Market’, just outside San Francisco selling Irish goods. Before leaving his native city, he ran his own business in Derry Glenn’s Meats and was a former apprentice at Hegarty’s Butchers.