Even the Pope has prayed to Venezuela’s beloved ‘Doctor of the Poor'

New York Times
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In a deeply polarized country, suffering an extreme health crisis, one of the few uniting beliefs is the admiration across the political spectrum for a doctor recently beatified by the Vatican.

For decades, Venezuelans have flocked to Isnotú to pray at the large white marble statue of Dr. José Gregorio Hernández, known nationwide as Venezuela’s “Doctor of the Poor,” to heal them or their loved ones. When devotees believe a cure is attributed to the doctor’s intervention, they present his statue with metal plaques to show their thanks. A few thousand such plaques — inscribed with messages describing successful operations and miracles — have been presented to the sanctuary since it was founded in 1960.

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