PENSIONER John Beckenkrager is living proof that miracles don’t just happen at Christmas.
And it seems John’s wonderful gift of healing has rubbed off onto the pages of the Hartlepool Mail.
The 79-year-old claims to have healed dozens of people’s health problems with help from the spirit world.
He appeared in the Mail in August, having been dubbed a “miracle worker” by Paul Randle after John cured him of a six-year-old football injury that left him walking with a limp and prevented him getting up and downstairs unaided as well as numerous other problems.
A relative of John’s late wife, Pat, who died from breast cancer aged 77 in January, posted a copy of that day’s edition of the Mail featuring John’s story, to her cousin, Ann Whitehead, in Mitcham, Surrey.
And she says her ailments improved as soon as she picked up the newspaper.
Seventy-one-year-old Ann, who suffers from various conditions including arthritis and heart problems, said: “I knew and felt it straight away.
“I had never seen John before, but just looking at the picture of him and his hands in the newspaper, it was strange.
“I thought ‘wow, I’m getting all these tingles’.
“I have had spiritual healing before but nothing on par with this. This was different.”
Ann, who is married to retired post office worker Bob, 78, is originally from Darlington, but spent a lot of her younger years in Hartlepool.
She spoke to John on the telephone and the sensation of healing was even more amazing.
Retired silver service waitress Ann, who walks with a stick and uses a mobility scooter, added: “Since the healing from John, something told me to come off the strong painkillers I was on.
“Now I’m right off them and I feel a lot better.
“I don’t get as much pain as I was getting.
“It’s been miraculous.”
John, from Seaton Carew, who discovered his “gift” 18 years ago, said: “Ann said all she did was look at the photograph of me and the following day, she put it in her thighs and asked for healing to come.
“Then when she was on the phone to me, she said ‘I’m feeling pins and needles all over my body and the pain’s going’.”
John previously described how he and Pat helped a disabled boy from Billingham to walk after healing him at Lourdes, in France.
He said Ann wrote him a letter thanking him for his help and described him as a “gift from God”.
But the unassuming father-of-two said: “I don’t think so.”
“It’s a thing I like to do.”
Retired joiner John added that numerous people had contacted him for healing since he appeared in the Mail, including a woman from east Durham.
He said she had managed to walk without a stick after he healed her following a meeting at a spiritual fair at The Staincliffe Hotel.
He also helps staff and tourists at the Tasia Maris Hotel, in Cyprus, where he holidays twice a year.
John, who has 76 letters from people he has healed, even helped a couple from Durham with joint pains on a flight to Cyprus.
He added: “More people are aware of what I do and I even have people phoning from Hartlepool when I’m out in Cyprus asking for healing.”
Andrew Simpson-Laing, 59, from Leeds, contacted the Mail to say John also provided relief for a severe skin complaint.