Father Louis Guanella receives canonization

SPRINGFIELD, PA. - October 19, 2011

Thirty year old Bill Glisson was at work at his family's window and siding company today, but he will be in St. Peter's Square this Sunday for the canonization of blessed Louis Guanella, who the church believes had a hand in Glisson's full recovery from a near fatal rollerbading accident in 2001.

"The prognosis was not good. They weren't sure whether or not I was going to survive, and if I did, I might not walk or may have some brain damage," says Bill Glisson, Jr. of Springfield, PA.

Friends of Glisson's family prayed for the intersession of Don Guanella, an Italian priest who established two religious orders: The Servants of Charity and The Daughters of St. Mary of Providence. The Don Guanella Village in Springfield is named for him. It has been home to mentally challenged men for over 50 years. Father Paul Oggioni says there is pride his order's founder will be recognized as a saint because his work continues today, caring for the less fortunate.

Father Paul Ogginion says Guanella cared for the mentally and physically disabled, orphans, and the incurables.

Bill Glisson admits he knew little about Don Guanella until his cure. He was back at work a few months after his accident with no ill effects. He says even one of his doctors believed there was something beyond medical science at work.

"He had already recognized it as being a miracle before the church or anybody else said that it was," says Glisson.

Bill has never been to Europe and says meeting the Pope will give him chills. On Friday he, his wife, and family will leave for an extraordinary journey as Father Louis Guanella receives the highest honor of the Catholic Church.

Copyright © 2020 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.