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17 Feb, 2017 16:03

Brain tumor triggers visions of Virgin Mary & hyper-religiosity for Spanish woman

Brain tumor triggers visions of Virgin Mary & hyper-religiosity for Spanish woman

A Spanish woman suddenly became obsessed with religion and had visions of the Virgin Mary as the direct result of an aggressive brain tumor, a report by her medical team has revealed.

The 60-year-old woman from Murcia, southern Spain, had religious apparitions over a two-month period before doctors performed an MRI scan, which revealed she had been suffering from brain cancer.

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As a result of her condition, she began to suffer from hyper-religiosity, causing her to believe she was “seeing, feeling, and conversing with the Virgin Mary,” her medical team said in a report published in the journal Neurocase.

"She was not a woman given to exaltation, suggestion, or repeated obsessions, these characteristics were in stark contrast to the fact that in the space of a very short time, she had developed a growing interest in the Bible and other sacred writings and spent the hours of the day reciting endless religious litanies," the team from the Hospital General Universitario Morales Meseguer, said.

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Linking the bizarre behavioral changes to her illness, the researchers concluded that "it is clear that the religious experience represented a fracture" from her behavior prior to diagnosis.

“It was not preceded by a gradual change in her thinking and acting, nor was there any kind of trigger or reason [for the behavior change] except for the disease, and hence, it can be considered a clearly pathological experience,” the report said.

The woman was treated with chemotherapy and also prescribed anti-psychotic drugs during a five-week period, over which the apparitions ceased, she passed away from her condition eight months later.