Luke John Neumann Hooker

"Everyone who loves God is a saint -- so I'm a saint, 'cause I love God... some are just better than others..!"

The above quote by four year-old Luke John Neumann Hooker was among many "Words of Wisdom" regularly recorded by his mother in a newsletter which circulated during the youngster's 20-month battle with metastatic liver cancer. Wise and mature beyond his years, Luke John's gentle smile and disposition impacted thousands around the world, many of whom claimed to be greatly inspired, converted or even healed during the course of his illness due to his tremendous acceptance of his suffering, which he insisted on offering up "for the conversion of sinners".

Even Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who mailed the ailing child a miraculous medal and a personal letter shortly before his untimely and grueling death, was touched by his story. The Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, also met, kissed and blessed little Luke John at the Vatican in June of 1996, as the youngster had declared to the Sunshine Foundation that this was his greatest wish.Luke John Hooker with Pope John Paul II, 1996

Recognizing Luke John's great spiritual maturity, his local diocese, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, agreed to allow the four year-old to receive the Catholic sacraments of Confirmation and First Holy Communion well in advance. He was confirmed on December 5, 1996, taking the Confirmation name of the well-known Philadelphia Bishop and Saint, John Neumann. He made his First Holy Communion shortly before, on November 6, 1996. He possessed a powerful belief in the healing power of the Eucharist even at his tender age, and it was that Eucharist alone which sustained him during the last 10 days of his life.

Just hours before his passing into glory, a long but courageously-fought battle behind him but an even more difficult one ahead, Luke John was asked if he still thought Jesus could heal him. (He had believed steadfastly throughout his illness that he would be healed.) "Oh, yes!" he replied enthusiastically and with a tender smile. "Like He's healing me right now!"

Indeed, in accepting his innocent, snow-white soul into Paradise, the Good Lord certainly conferred upon Luke John the ultimate healing.

Luke John's rare pediatric cancer, called hepatoblastoma, was discovered just hours after the birth of his sister, Veronica Grace. With his tumor nearly the size of a grapefruit at diagnosis, Luke John underwent what later proved to be an unnecessary biopsy procedure which subsequently caused his operable tumor to explode. Sure death was temporarily avoided by numerous operations and pediatric chemotherapy. Indeed, the greater part of his toddler life was spent in the hospital.

Firm in accepting God's will, Luke John's family is nonetheless brokenhearted over the loss of their firstborn child, whose gentleness and wisdom truly brought the Lord's presence into their home and hearts. Luke John's family believes that, perhaps, God did intend to heal their son, as his tumor was serious but manageable when discovered. Lack of knowledge on the parents' part, however, and poor medical decisions led to a medical crisis of such magnitude that SEVERAL miracles would've been required to reverse it! At least, the family has considered things in this light...

Indeed, answers are not easy in a situation like this. How do we explain or even accept the grueling death of a precious child? The family encourages others not to lose faith, and to continue to believe in miracles which ARE wrought through steadfast prayer. Sometimes, however -- no matter how perfect or intense the prayer -- God's Will must prevail, often for reasons we do nut understand. The quintessential example of this was Christ's OWN prayer to his Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. "...Let this cup pass from me... but yet, not MY will, but THINE be done..." There can be no doubt -- the strongest prayer Our Lord ever uttered was as if quietly answered by the Father, "Not this time..."

Recognizing this apparent contradiction -- that Christ's strongest prayer was the one our Father could not answer -- we take heart in what our same FAITH ultimately leads to and confirms: we are but travelers, learning to love and know God as best as possible so as to abide for all eternity with Him. Perhaps, God saw all He needed to see in Luke John, and decided it was time to give the little hero his reward.

And our faith clearly teaches us that Luke John has joined the Communion of Saints in Heaven who are able to pray for, with and on behalf of our needs. Let us not be timid in requesting their help!



The Story of
A Miracle

Holy Week
1999 & 2000

On the DISH Network or Cable TV. For continued airing of this program, call EWTN at: 205/271-2900, or view their website at

Local Pediatric Cancer Victim, Luke John Hooker, Subject of International Broadcast

Biographical video to air three times on EWTN

For Immediate Release
Monday, March 22, 1999

WEST GROVE, PA– Luke John Hooker of West Grove, who passed away in early 1997 at the age of four after a grueling bout with metastatic liver cancer, is the subject of a biographical video entitled, "The Little Angel that Could" which will air on April 1st, 2nd and 3rd on the Global Catholic Television Network, EWTN.

The youngster, whose highly-publicized battle with the disease sparked a worldwide prayer crusade which captured the attention of both Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II, was diagnosed with a rare pediatric liver cancer called hepatoblastoma in 1995, less than one day after the birth of his new sister. Despite extensive surgeries and the toxic limit of several types of chemotherapy, he died of suffocation in his home on Feb. 3, 1997, as the disease had spread out of control to his lungs and throughout his system.

Luke John's highly spiritual demeanor and unusual maturity sparked Catholic leaders in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to grant him permission to receive the sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation, usually reserved for children and young adults much older than he. Throughout his illness, and the two years since his death, his family has received an onslaught of letters and phone calls of support and gratitude from people who claimed to have been profoundly touched by his life and legacy. Some of the reports involve claims of spiritual and physical healing, usually attributed to saints.

"There is no way of knowing what God's will might be regarding the boy's life," the local Vicar, Monsignor McDonough, stated, "but for now, it's important to keep an accurate, detailed log of these events as they come in." The Monsignor indicated that the Church requires a mandatory posthumous waiting period of five years before any formal proceedings in the process of canonization could begin, a time period which, in the case of the beloved Mother Teresa, was recently waived by the Holy Father.

Luke John's uncanny love for his faith led to the realization of his "greatest wish", which was to "meet the Pope, so he could bless me". This desire was realized in June of 1996 when Luke John and his family traveled to Rome courtesy of the Sunshine Foundation, an organization which grants wishes to terminally-ill children.

Unusually aware of the Catholic virtue of suffering, Luke John regularly insisted on offering up his ungodly pain for the "conversion of sinners", and even refused pain medication so that "the bad guys can become good again, so God will be so happy".

Shortly before his trip to Rome, Mother Teresa of Calcutta sent the ailing child a miraculous medal and a handwritten note, encouraging him to continue to "offer all your pain to Jesus" and to "be God's love to all through your beautiful smile". On a sketch of a tiny baby in an adult's hand, Mother Teresa wrote "Luke John" on the baby and "Hand of Jesus" on the hand.

"The Little Angel that Could", which contains both real and recreated footage of the child's long battle as well as his encounters with Pope John Paul II and Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, will air during the climax of Lent, the 40-day period of sacrifice and atonement in which Catholics prepare for the feast of Easter. EWTN's decision to air the moving documentary was based on the hope that it would "touch many people's lives, especially those who are suffering," according to a member of the "Our Lady of the Angels" cloister of nuns responsible for selecting the video for broadcast.

The nun continued, "When people, young and old, see how he accepted his pain with resignation, how he embraced the cross for love of God and the conversion of sinners, they will be touched."

The Global Television Network had been following the gentle youngster's progress throughout his illness, and recently commemorated the two-year anniversary of his death with a televised Mass offered in his memory on February 3, 1999. "The Little Angel that Could" will air Holy Thursday (April 1st) at 9PM, Good Friday (April 2nd) at 11:30PM, and Holy Saturday (April 3rd) at 11 AM (all times Eastern). EWTN is featured on the DISH Network and local cable networks.

Prayer to Little Luke John

Dearest Child of God,
you who bore your sufferings with such grace and courage, who believed steadfastly even until your last agonizing breath that "Jesus was healing you", who offered more than half of your painful days for the "conversion of sinners", intercede now for us before the Throne of God, to which your innocence and sufferings have surely drawn you close. Ask our Dear Lord with the childlike faith, joy and boldness you always demonstrated to answer our prayers, in particular, the intention we now make (here mention request), so that in accordance with His Will, God may be glorified and we may be brought to glory. We ask this in union with your Mother and ours, who now holds you tenderly in her arms for sheer joy over your generous participation in the sufferings of her Son.

"I'm a miracle, Daddy!"

"The Miracle Song"

Written at Luke John's hospital bedside
Words & Music by Mommy and Daddy
(a.k.a., Bridget & Joseph Hooker)
©Copyright 1996 J.L. Hooker
Featured on the tape, "Say Yes to Life"

We do see miracles here
We long to abandon these fears
We do see miracles here
So Lord, give us one we'll hold onto forever...

We do see miracles here

Our eyes have been crying so long
Our tears flow from evening 'till dawn
Our hearts, lifted up in this song
So hear us, Oh Lord, we are patiently waiting...

We do see miracles here

One day at a time is all we can do!
We just pray and wait to hear from You...

Praying for a miracle

One child is born into light
Another begins his own fight
Both miracles in their own right
Each day that they're living, His love they are giving

We do see miracles here
Don't you see miracles here...?

Please address all stories, questions or favors received to:

Luke John Hooker Fund
P.O. Box 65
West Grove, PA 19390-0065

You may call Luke John's parents at:


or email to:

A book is currently being compiled on the young child's life and his impact on the Christian world, which was more than can possibly be recorded here. In addition, due to the numerous witness reports being received on miraculous events believed to be occurring through this child's intercession, steps have been initiated in the process of Luke John's official recognition as a Roman Catholic saint.

This website will soon contain complete archives of hundreds of witness testimonies and claims of answered intercessory prayer.

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