The Vatican is tomorrow expected to attribute a second miracle to the intercession of Blessed Gorg Preca, effectively removing the last major hurdle in the cause for his sainthood.

The Times has learnt that theological experts nominated by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints are expected to report that the healing of a Maltese baby boy in 2001 was due to the intercession of the Blessed Gorg.

Doctors appointed by the Congregation have already confirmed that there is no medical explanation for the boy's recovery.

However, the latest development, though highly significant, does not mean that Dun Gorg - who was declared Blessed by Pope John Paul II in May, 2001 - will automatically become a saint.

The cause must first go to the Ordinary Congregation of Cardinals who will weigh up all the arguments before handing it over to Pope Benedict XVI for a final decision on whether Blessed Gorg will become Malta's first saint.

The case was handed over to Rome after the local diocesan process, presided over by Archbishop Joseph Mercieca, had completed its investigations into the possibility of a second miracle in 2004 after examining 88 witnesses.

Mgr Charles Scicluna, the postulator in the cause of Blessed Gorg, had asked the Archbishop to investigate the claim in 2002.

The boy, who was born on June 15, 2001, developed severe liver complications 20 days after his birth and was taken for treatment to King's College Hospital in London where he was put in intensive care.

On July 18 of that year the doctors decided that the child's only hope for survival was a liver transplant. A date for the operation was set, but it resulted that the liver available was not appropriate for the boy. It is at that point that fervent prayers were made to Blessed Gorg and a glove used in his exhumation was placed on the child.

On July 20 the boy's condition changed and his liver started functioning normally. Four days later the doctors decided he no longer needed a transplant and he went on to make a full recovery - baffling medics.

Born in Valletta on February 12, 1880, Blessed Gorg was the seventh of nine children born into a deeply religious family. He set up the MUSEUM, the society of Christian doctrine, in a small room at Hamrun. It now has centres in Australia, Sudan, Kenya, Peru, London and Albania.

On February 3, 1964, Charles Zammit Endrich's detached retina healed after he placed a relic of Dun Gorg under his pillow.

The cause for Dun Gorg's beatification was initiated in 1975; he was declared venerable in June 2000 and Blessed in May 2001.

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