Monday, March 29, 2010
Saint Peter The Apostle Church on 1019 North Fifth Street in Philadelphia is known for being the National Shrine of Saint John Neumann. In fact, it is most commonly known as “Saint John Neumann’s Church.” However, most do not know the affect that this Church has had on the people who regularly attend this parish.
Ellen Witsch is not a member of Saint John Neumann’s Church because it is too far away from her home, yet she has been regularly attending ever since what she describes a “mini miracle” occurred ten years ago. Witsch had been in the area and she decided to stop by Saint John Neumann’s Church for the first time because she heard that that a piece of the true Cross had been at this Church and this particular day was the last day it would be on display. After seeing the piece of the Cross, Witsch lit a candle in the Church for husband, Michael, and they uttered a prayer for him in hopes that he would quite smoking.
Michael Witsch had complained about a pain in his back the prior day. That pain turned out to be a ruptured aorta, which resulted in an aneurysm. This took place as Ellen Witsch and her children were lighting a candle in Saint John Neumann’s Church and praying for their husband and father, Michael Witsch, to quit smoking. Ellen Witsch had no idea what had been going on at the time with her husband as she was at the Church. She said according to their doctor, a ruptured aorta usually results in a fatal heart attack. Her husband made a full recovery and he gave up smoking for good.
“I am a very devout Catholic now, but I hadn’t been at the time,” says Ellen Witsch.
“Saint John Neumann Church certainly saved my family.”
By Josh Schrager and Lauren Williams
Team 32: Ludlow
Posted by Josh S at 4:33 AM