Superhero Saints: Miraculous Healing Power

Miracle Superpowers Like Wolverine and Wonder Woman

healing light hand
Some popular superheroes like Wolverine and Wonder Woman have superpowers of miraculous healing. In real life, God has given some saints the power to heal through miracles, believers say. Cristina Pedrazzini/Getty Images

Some popular superheroes in movies, television, and comic books -- such as Wolverine and Wonder Woman -- have superpowers of miraculous healing. In real life, God has given some people abilities to heal themselves and others through miracles, believers say. Here are some famous saints who reportedly had miracle healing powers:

Saint Hildegard of Bingen

St. Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), was a German writer, composer, inventor, and scholar who developed a reputation as a respected healer.

Hildegard made connections between the elements of many different subjects to better understand God’s creation. She emphasized the importance of understanding and working with the life force energy that God has placed in all living things to heal holistically (body, mind, and spirit).

Hildegard, who wrote two books on healing (the Book of Simple Medicine and the Book of Composed Medicine), advised people to pursue wellness in a variety of different ways, using the good gifts God has made available to them in the natural environment. So, she said, people could use the healing power of plants by eating a healthy diet and employing herbal remedies for their health problems. She prescribed hundreds of plant-based medical treatments in her books. People could tap into the healing power of sound, said Hildegard, by chanting in meditation and singing songs. She even composed music designed to resonate in harmony with the vibrations of God’s healing energy.

The archangels who oversee earth's four natural elements -- fire, water, air, and earth -- magnify the power of people's healing prayers when people seek their help in the healing process, Hildegard believed. So she encouraged those in need of medical help to ask for guidance and support from Archangel Michael (angel of fire), Archangel Gabriel (angel of water), Archangel Raphael (angel of air), and Archangel Uriel (angel of earth).

She called angels "living light most glorious!".

God has also given people a symbolic color -- green -- to help them identify life-affirming resources they can use on earth for healing, suggested Hildegard. Just as the healing angels who work with Archangel Raphael travel back and forth between heavenly and earthly dimensions on green light ray frequencies, many of the plants that are best for people to use for healing are green, and so are some crystals that have especially powerful healing energy. Hildegard called this phenomenon "viriditas" (which means "green power").

The system of body, mind, and spirit that God has designed for humans should work well for each person, Hildegard believed, both to honor God and to bless people. She famously said: "A human being is a vessel that God has built for himself and filled with his inspiration so that his works are perfected in it."

Saint Martin de Porres

St. Martin de Porres (1579-1639) was a Peruvian friar who took care of many sick and injured people during his life, especially after he started overseeing the infirmary at his Dominican monastery. He was known for his extraordinary compassion for suffering people. Martin, who established a hospital for children, treated and prayed for a great number of people who were miraculously cured from a variety of medical conditions, witnesses said.

Martin knew what it was like to suffer intensely, since he had suffered a great deal growing up as a target of hatred and rejection. As the illegitimate child of a royal Spanish colonist and an impoverished former slave with African heritage, Martin endured merciless taunting and bullying from others after his father abandoned his family when he was 2 years old. Not only was Martin poor, but he was also multiracial (which Peruvian society was biased against at that time), so he struggled with both economic and racial discrimination.

Before entering the monastery, Martin worked as a trade apprentice to a surgeon who was also a barber. He learned about healthcare through his work there. While working, Martin volunteered for eight years at the monastery, thinking that he couldn't make ministry his vocation because of a law forbidding mixed race people from entering religious orders.

But he served with such dedication there that monastery leaders eventually disregarded the law and welcomed him fully into their community.

Martin was placed in charge of the monastery's entire healthcare work. He led efforts to patiently care for many people in need -- regardless of their background. Remembering how much it hurt to be discriminated against himself, Martin treated anyone who needed medical care, no matter who they were, what condition they were in physically, or whether or not they could pay anything for the cost of their care.

After his death, Martin continued to do healing work from heaven, believers say. Many healing miracles have been attributed to Martin's prayer intercession from heaven on behalf of people who prayed for his help -- such as restoring good health to a Mexican boy's leg just before it was to be amputated in 1956, and healing a woman from Paraguay in 1948 of a severe intestinal blockage after her doctors had given up on her and her family was planning her funeral.

Saint Brigid

St. Brigid (451-525) was an Irish saint whose healing miracles became well-known since she led a monastery community that was an important center of learning in ancient Europe. Outside the monastery in Kildare, Ireland, a well of water that Brigid used to baptize people became a popular pilgrimage site for people to visit and pray for healing; it remains so even now.

Stories of healing miracles that God performed through Bridget featured a wide variety of different circumstances, but often involved water. For instance, once Bridget and two friends -- a pair of sisters who were deaf and mute -- were riding horses together when Bridget's horse got scared and stopped suddenly. Bridget fell of her horse and hit her head on a rock. Her blood mixed with water on the ground because it was a rainy day. Bridget felt inspired by the Holy Spirit to ask her friends to pour some of the bloody water on their necks while praying for Jesus Christ to heal them. Afterward, they reported, they could hear and talk.

Saint Pantaleon

St. Pantaleon (275-305) was a Turkish doctor who served many patients, including two emperors of the ancient Roman empire. He believed that Jesus Christ was the greatest physician, so human doctors should place their trust in Jesus' guidance for their healing efforts.

That belief led Pantaleon to be martyred for his faith during a period of persecution against Christians in the Roman empire. It also led Pantaleon's father to become a Christian, however. The healing miracles that witnesses reported Pantaleon performing -- including two that defied medical explanation (restoring sight to a blind person and healing a paralyzed person) -- were controversial. Some witnesses said the miracles were dangerous demonstrations of magic; others said they were signs pointing people to God.