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Miracles Science Can't Explain: Luke Burgie

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Luke Burgie at age 18 in 2012

Luke Burgie at age 18 in 2012

The year was 1998. Luke Burgie was a four-year-old boy who was in pain. Physicians worked hard to determine the reason for the young boy's digestive disorder. They ran several tests but could not discover the reason for the young Luke's suffering. Antibiotics, as well as special diets, were tried. Nothing seemed to help the young boy who felt miserable. He was unable to properly eat for six months. Luke's mother was a devout Catholic. She asked two nuns to pray for her son.

Meeting Nuns

Luke's mother Jan was trying to balance caring for her son and her job. She taught religious education at St. Patrick's Catholic School in Colorado Springs. During her work, she met various nuns from the Mount St. Francis convent. These nuns would come to the school where she worked and give talks. Jan spoke to Sisters Evangeline Spenner and Margaret Mary Preister about her ailing son. She invited them to dinner at her home. At this time, Luke had lost 10 percent of his body weight to his sickness and appeared to only be getting worse. Sisters Evangeline Spenner and Margaret Mary Preister were determined to help Luke Burgie. They decided to pray a novena to try and end the young boy's suffering.

Catholic nuns praying

Catholic nuns praying


A novena is a series of prayers. These prayers are said for nine straight days. These nine days acknowledge the nine days the Blessed Virgin Mary and Apostles spent praying between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost Sunday. Novenas had no official standing within the Catholic Church until the 1800s. This is when indulgences were offered for novena prayers before different feasts.


On February 22, 1999, the nuns completed their nine-day novena in the morning. At this same time, Luke got out of his bed and seemed to be miraculously healed. The pain he was experiencing, and all his suffering had inexplicably ended. Luke went to the kitchen and was ready to have breakfast. He told his mother that his tummy no longer hurt. They had become accustomed to their child being in pain and having a bad stomachache during every meal. Luke had to leave preschool. His little body seemed to be wasting away. Luke was now anxious to get back to school and play with his friends. He was happy to no longer be in pain.

Miracle Confirmation

Luke's mother believed what her son experienced after the novena was a miracle. This caused Catholic Church officials to begin a long and thorough investigation into what happened. They wanted to determine if what occurred was actually a miracle. Church officials interviewed physicians and carefully reviewed medical records. The Burgie family was also investigated by the Catholic Church officials. The goal was to make certain Luke remained healthy and the cause of his sickness has been truly cured.

The Vatican

The Vatican


Investigators from the Vatican announced their conclusion. Their findings confirmed that Luke's cure had been both complete and spontaneous. It also lacked scientific explanation. More than one physician who was involved with Luke's case admitted there was no medical intervention that could be considered responsible for his sudden healing. The Catholic Church investigators felt the only explanation is that Sisters Evangeline Spenner and Margaret Mary Preister prayed a novena for the young boy. When they did this, it resulted in the miraculous healing of Luke. It took the Catholic Church investigators 14 years to come to this conclusion.

Mother Maria Theresa Bonzel

Mother Maria Theresa Bonzel

Mother Maria Theresa Bonzel

Both of the nuns were from the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration. This is an order of nuns that was founded by Mother Maria Theresa Bonzel in 1863. The Catholic Church believes it has proven that Mother Maria Theresa Bonzel answered the prayers of Sisters Evangeline Spenner and Margaret Mary Preister to perform a miracle for Luke Burgie.


Many people are amazed at the amount of work and research the Vatican puts into a subject before it makes a declaration of a miracle. It is common for Catholic Church investigators to examine hundreds or even thousands of medical records. They also look at other pieces of evidence such as interviewing witnesses, the places where the miracle took place, and more. The standard for an event to be considered a miracle requires it to be complete, rapid, and absolutely inexplicable.

Luke Burgie is now an adult. He doesn't like to talk about his experience of being sick and then being cured. Luke is not a practicing Catholic. According to his mother, Luke never liked being constantly referred to as the miracle boy. Unfortunately, Sister Evangeline Spenner passed away before the experience with Luke was officially declared a miracle by the Catholic Church. Another positive thing that came from this experience is that the Burgie family and the nuns became very good friends. The nuns were so close with the family, they were considered surrogate grandmothers to the Burgie children.


Daily Mail

New York Daily News


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