Why was Father Mollinger called the "Healing Priest?"
Suitbert Godfrey Mollinger studied in Naples, Rome and Genoa to become a Medical Doctor. At the age of 24, he entered the Seminary in Ghent to become a priest. Father Mollinger was a man of strong faith and he believed that healings can be performed in his day as they were when Jesus and his apostles walked the earth. People would travel from all over the world to Saint Anthony Chapel for his Healing Mass. The mass was typically conducted on the Feast Day of St. Anthony or the Feast of Corpus Christi, and attendance would be in excess of 12,000 people.
How did Father Mollinger use his relics for healing purposes?
Father Mollinger used relics during his Healing Mass, which focused on the Sacrament of Anointing with oil and prayer for the sick as described in James 5:13-16.
Is any one among your sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint [him] with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of the faith will save the sick person.
Father Mollinger would anoint, bless, and allow the sick to venerate a reliquary of Our Lord, Jesus – the true Healing Priest – and his Saints. The reliquary used by Father Mollinger is depicted in the picture above.
Have any miracles of healing taken place at Saint Anthony Chapel?
Absolutely! Countless healings have taken place at Saint Anthony Chapel. Unfortunately, we tend to think of most healings or proof-there-of as physical in nature. Many physical and spiritual healings have taken place and continue to take place at Saint Anthony Chapel. The truth of the matter is that both physical and spiritual healings occur everyday in the Divine Liturgy or Sacred Mass; however, very few are given the eyes of faith to see them. Only the physical healings are those noticed by the crowds.
Some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed; they were trying to bring him in and set [him] in his presence. But not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles into the middle in front of Jesus. When he saw their faith, he said, "As for you, your sins are forgiven." Then the scribes and Pharisees began to ask themselves, "Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who but God alone can forgive sins? Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them in reply, "What are you thinking in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins" --he said to the man who was paralyzed. "I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home." He stood up immediately before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God.
So what was the Miracle in Luke 5:18-26?
There were actually two! The healing of the paralytic [a physical miracle] was witnessed by the crowds; however, the greater miracle, as expressed by Jesus Christ, was the healing of the soul or "your sins are forgiven" [a spiritual miracle], which is available to every Catholic through the Sacrament of Reconciliation!