Book Reports That President Reagan's Mom Appeared To Have Healing Powers


Reagan family



May 12, 2004 Photos/story reported in [Spirit] online newspaper. The mother of President Ronald Reagan was an extraordinarily devout Christian who was believed to have healing powers. Such is the claim of a new book, God and Ronald Reagan, that reveals the former president himself as far more of an active Christian than was portrayed during his White House years.

"There it was -- an endless trail of religious remarks that coursed unmistakably through his papers and letters," notes author Paul Kengor. "Almost everywhere I seemed to look, there he was: the religious Reagan, motivated in every aspect of his career by spiritual convictions."

Far from paying Christianity lip service, the private Reagan was said to have possessed an almost evangelical fervor -- urging those he knew most intimately to "accept Jesus." He invoked "the power of the Holy Spirit" in his decision-making and believed that he was on a Christian mission to defeat Communism -- speaking about it in terms of an "evil force" long before his famous speech declaring the Soviet Union as the "focus of evil" in the world.

Raised by a Catholic father and a mother who was a leader in what was called the First Christian Church, Reagan was said to be highly familiar with Scripture, quoting and cross-referencing it. "By the time he was a teenager young Reagan was already so advanced in his faith, and so serious about his church role, that congregation members thought he might become a minister," writes Kengor -- noting that the former president spent "hours" on his knees with a friend who was a minister.

His fervor and references to God went far beyond speechmaking. Indeed, the portrait painted is what may well be the most intensely and privately Christian president in the past century. "There hasn't been a serious crisis in my life when I haven't prayed, and when prayer hasn't helped me," Reagan once said.

The notion of a Creator had been indelibly etched into Reagan's consciousness as a boy when he stared in wonderment at a collection of butterflies and bird eggs, marveling in sort of an epiphany at God's handiwork. But the major influence was his mother Nelle -- who according to Kengor "thought about God not just daily but constantly."

The Illinois woman virtually ran her local church, notes Kengor, preparing Sunday programs, writing church bulletins, prodding the congregation into donating toward the struggling church in the town of Dixon, and possibly even preaching on occasion.

Writes the biographer: "It would almost trivialize Nelle Reagan to characterize her as an occasional 'faith healer,' given the image the term conjures up today. Nonetheless, she developed a reputation as someone whose prayers were powerful, even to the extent that they might cure the sick."

According to Kengor, a fellow church member named Mildred Neer brought her little daughter to Mrs. Reagan when the child developed a severe abscess on her neck, which swelled to twice normal size. "I told her about our daughter, and she said, 'Let's go into the back room,'" recounted Neer.

"We did. Then Mrs. Reagan said, 'Let's get down on our knees and pray about it.' She made a wonderful prayer and when [we stood] I felt the prayer was answered. I went home. Pretty soon there was a knock on the door. It was Mrs. Reagan. She spent the whole afternoon [in prayer] with us. She left about six o'clock.

"Moments later the abscess burst. The next morning the doctor said, 'I don't need to lance this.' God had heard Nelle Reagan's prayer and answered it."

The future president also experienced the power of healing. "Privately, Reagan attributed even physical healing to the power of prayer," says the book, noting that in his second autobiography Reagan recounted the story of an ulcer he had once begun to suffer while governor of California. Intensely praying about it, he reached for his bottle of Maalox one morning until "something inside" told him, "You don't need this anymore."

According to Kengor, an hour later Reagan had a meeting with a man from southern California who informed him that a prayer group was praying for him. That same day a second visitor informed him of the same thing.

And not long after, Reagan went to the doctor.

"Not only had the ulcer cleared up, he learned, but the affliction was so completely cured that no evidence of it remained," says the book.

There was also a time when Reagan felt spoken to by his deceased father. And there were crises when he felt the involvement of angels. (More on this later....)

Though reared outside the Catholic faith, Reagan had great respect for Catholicism, strongly supported Pope John Paul II, and on one occasion even attempted to speak with Marija Pavlovic (now Lunetti), a seer from Medjugorje (we are told by former ambassador Al Kingon). According to reports, Reagan also had a statue of the Madonna in his retirement office -- referring to her as "my gal." And in his first inaugural address, he quoted Benjamin Franklin: "He who introduces into public office the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world."