Linda Martel, the Little Girl With the Gift of Healing
Linda Martel was a young girl gifted with the extraordinary power to heal people. Born in Guernsey's Amherst Maternity Home in St Peter Port at 03.30 am on Tuesday, August 21st, 1956, she sadly only lived until October 20th 1961. During those years she became a legend, wise well beyond her years due to the sheer miracles of healing she performed during her short life.
Linda Martel was born suffering from Hydrocephalus (water on the brain), spina bifida and paralysed legs. Doctors only gave Linda months to live, although she did far outlive their expectations and survived past the age of five.
The Doctor in charge of Linda's case was called Dr. Webber, and he warned Linda's father that she would most likely go blind and her head would swell to huge proportions. Sadly their was nothing he could medically do to help as surgery was not capable of providing a cure.
At 11 days old Linda was transferred to the St Peter Port Hospital, everyone assuming her remaining time was limited. Soon after her arrival at the hospital Linda was christened. Weeks went by, during which time Linda's head did indeed swell up, and after some months the hospital warned Mr and Mrs Martel that their daughter was dying.
Some weeks earlier Roy Martel (her father), had experienced a very strange event, where he had heard the sound of a wind, and the room had been filled with a glowing light. Whether it was because of this, or some other reason, Roy Martel refused to believe the hospital's message. He told his wife to call the hospital the following morning and there would be good news. Sure enough, when Mrs Martel called the hospital the following day she learnt that Linda was alright.
Linda made it to her 1st birthday, and Matron Bones arranged a birthday cake for her to celebrate. Shortly after this the same matron read of a new American treatment for hydrocephalus cases such as Linda's. The treatment (invented by an American called Spitz, with a valve designed by another American named Holter), drew fluid away from the head. Matron Bones wrote to Spitz in the hope the estimated £2000 required to send Linda to see him could be raised. Luckily this proved unnecessary as Sptiz wrote back to say an English surgeon by the name of Peter Rickham had been studying the treatment in the US, was now back in England.
Mr. Rickman readily agreed to see Linda, but due to the costs of the valves required that the treasury refused to pay for, he was left having to improvise using a polythene catheter to drain the fluids into the peritoneal cavity. This was a temporary success, and Linda's head did start to reduce in size. By the time the catheter failed to work Mr. Rickman had fortunately been able to obtain the correct valves, performed the operation and Linda was back in the Guernsey hospital within a matter of days, (now aged just 17 months).
Linda began to talk whilst still in the hospital, and for this reason her first words were 'My Lady', 'Doctor Webber' and 'Sister'. There were no other children around for Linda to learn more basic words from. By the time Linda reached two years and nine months old Dr. Webber decided she would be better off at home as she was clearly in no imminent danger of dying.
It was after Linda's arrival home that her family noticed Linda possessed the ability to not only "see" illness and pains from which people were suffering, but could also cure these afflictions.
Linda often spoke about "my Lady" and Jesus, and shortly after returning from Liverpool she had told her father, "Roy, it's my Lady who looks after me, she comes to see me you know". She answered a question from her father by saying " the Lady has a blue dress, and she wears a gold chain around her waist, she doesn't smile or laugh, she cries. She cries, you know". If a person died she would say: "He is with my Jesus. He is in Heavens".
What is worth mentioning here is that Linda's parents were not a family who would attempt to indoctrinate any child into a denomination or variation of any organised religion. They simply practiced one main commandment, "love thy neighbour".
The deep meaningful statements made by Linda on the topic of religion were therefore not as a result of brainwashing by her parents. As her Father Roy said, "There was no arguing with Linda when she spoke, she spoke with authority".
Linda did not however like to hear hymns being sung; and she had a horror of entering church. When her parents tired to take her on a couple of occasions she exclaimed, "I don't like churches, I only like the people".
Aged five years old Linda said "My Jesus Christ told me last night that I will walk next year". The very next day she experienced back pains. Linda's concerned parents wanted to send for her doctor, but Linda said "There isn't any need to send for the doctor, there isn't anything he can do you know, there isn't anything he can do".
The Friday before Linda died she said: "My Jesus Christ is not coming to see me many more times, but I shall soon be going, I shall soon be going to see Him, and the world will soon know, you know, Auntie Noreen".
The following Thursday Linda died in her mother's arms shortly after experiencing breathing difficulties. She was buried in St Sampson's Church cemetery in Guernsey.
Dr. Webber's words proved of particular interest and went as follows:
"It wasn't for some months (after her return from Liverpool hospital) that the story of Linda appeared in the newspapers. Various patients of mine then went to see her. Many of them were definitely neurotic, quite apart from the psychosomatics, and cures are the natural sequence of an illness. There is a medical panel which investigates all claims for cures at Lourdes. The average is less than one a year which is authenticated though, over the years, there have been quite a few. So a cure can be supernatural. In the case of Linda you can explain away in medical terms a whole lot of her individual 'cures'. But to judge by the number of people who claim to have been healed by Linda, there are too many of them, too many coincidences, considering what a short time she was alive. I am not one of those who dismiss this sort of thing out of hand. It is difficult to understand, but things are done which have quite remarkable results."
It was whilst in his cafe Roy Martel was approached by a gentleman asking if Roy had a handkerchief that Linda had ever handled. When Roy explained that he hadn't, the gentleman asked him if he had any of Linda's clothing at all. When Roy asked the gentleman why he needed the clothing the man's answer was "well, she used to cure with handkerchiefs, why not her clothing?".
Roy agreed to give the man a piece of Linda's clothing, and gave him a 12 inch by 1 inch strip of cloth from one of Linda's dresses. Two weeks later the man approached Roy again, and told him that he had placed the cloth inside his vest in order to help his asthma and that now his breathing was 100%. This was just the start however, and it wasn't long before fabric from Linda's clothing had also healed Peter's (one of Roy's children) eye after a splinter of wood became lodged in the eye after an accident in his school woodworking class. After applying the cloth to Peter's eye, within 5 minutes the swelling, pain and bloodshot appearance had vanished, and a quarter inch long splinter was left on the cloth once it was removed.
It seems Linda had far more spiritual knowledge than even the Clergy can claim to possess, and Roy Martel distinctly remembers an occasion where Eileen Martel was ironing and Linda Martel was listening to a church service on the radio. Linda suddenly turned and said, "They are very silly people, Eileen, they are very silly people". Eileen turned to Linda and said "What people Linda?". "The ones on the radio, Eileen. Don't they know that my Jesus Christ is God, and that God is Jesus Christ, don't they know that?".What in that service had prompted Linda to say that, after all, she was only three years old at the time?
Charles Graves wrote in The Legend of Linda Martel, "She knew where the pain or the ailment was situated". Roy Martel states that he can assure anyone this is not a fantasy. It may be unbelievable but nevertheless it is a fact.
One night Roy Martel answered their front door and found a gentleman standing there. He asked them if they knew a Mrs Morris, who it transpired was a lady that Eileen Martel had sent a piece of the material from one of Linda's dresses to in order to try and help her four year old daughter to walk. By the third day after the material was applied to the affected area the child was walking again.
Soon cases arose of people who had visited Linda's grave with ailments that were subsequently cured. Shortly after Charles Graves published his book "The Legend of Linda Martel" Mr Graves phoned Roy Martel to tell him that a gentleman was being featured on Channel Television's news that had been told he only had 6 months to live due to an advanced growth in his throat, yet after his visit to Linda's grave he was re-examined and the growth had vanished.
A local hotelier took some of his visitors to Linda's grave in order for them to take pictures. It transpired that the hotelier was due to attend hospital for a removal of cysts from his eye, so whilst he was at the grave he thought he would ask for help. The following morning the cysts had completely disappeared. His doctor was skeptical, but as the hotelier pointed out, "if you didn't remove the cysts, who did?", to which the doctor had no answer.
As Roy Martel states, "Linda knew this was not the only life because at two and a half years she said to my wife".
"I died before Eileen, I died before"
What does a child of that age know of living or dying? When she said she would walk again she was dead three weeks later. She was obviously going to be capable of walking again once no longer on this earth.
Roy Dodd who worked at De Putron's paint counter had been suffering from severe headaches came down to the paint counter and said, "Tom, I have to go to Winchester Hospital next Wednesday for an operation". It had to have been a complicated operation to send him all the way to Winchester as Guernsey surgeons were very capable. Anyway, Roy Dodd was due for a mastoid removal, and a blockage from above his nose. Tom then said, "Why don't you try a piece of Linda's dress?". "I don't believe in that bloody nonsense" said Roy. Tom responded by saying quietly "Look Roy, I will give you a piece, you are not getting charged for it, it is absolutely free, if it doesn't work you go to Winchester, if it does work you won't have to go will you?" At that Roy, stopped, thought about it and then agreed that he had everything to gain and nothing to lose and accepted a piece of the cloth. Having attached it to his complaint when he retired for bed, the next morning Roy attended work and Tom (Mr Ramsden), asked if anything had happened. "No" said Roy, " and I don't expect anything to, that's for sure." About 11 am the following Monday Roy turned up for work late, and as white as a sheet and with a piece of cotton wool protruding from his ear. After begging a cigarette from Roy Martel (Linda's father), Roy Dodd went on to say:
"I never want that to happen to me again. I woke up at about 02.00 am, in my head the pain was terrible" he said. "I thought I was going mad, then all of a sudden there was a flash of light, I thought I was going or gone." Then he said "I woke up or came to, I don't quite know which". Blood and pus had poured out of his ear and also down his nose. To the best of Roy Martel's knowledge Roy Dodd never went to Winchester or back to a doctor ever.
The cases of Linda's clothing curing people are many, too many to list in one article to be honest. There was the baby who was apparently dying from liver and kidney problems, but when the Mother sewed a piece of Linda's clothing inside the child's vest he went on to make a full recovery, and even the lad's doctor says it was a miracle. Then there is the chap with "water on the knee" who had been told he needed an operation when he could not really afford to take the required time away from work. Within a few days his leg was back to normal and he had no further bother from it.
A Mr Staples who had a spinal injury requiring an uncomfortable steel corset to be worn constantly, placed a piece of Linda's clothing in his jacket near his injury. For three days he endured a blinding headache that tablets had no effect on. When the headache finally dissipated he realised he had no need to continue using the steel corset and could return to his original profession of laying tiles on rooftops. This same man had a nasty accident trying to stop a 40 foot ladder from slipping. The result left him with split muscles around his heart and the heart itself had squeezed through the slit. His Doctors told him he would never work again and he would be bedridden for at least 3 months. Then Mr Staples remembered he still had Linda's material in his wallet. Within three weeks he was weeding in his garden and also returned to his business.
Roy went through a phase of getting frequent migraine attacks, to the point he almost suspected a tumour on the brain. It was on one of these occasions Linda (at the time still alive), called him over and put her hands on his said saying, "You'll be all better now". Within ten minutes the pain had disappeared.
No profit has ever been taken by Linda's family (the Martel's) for the scraps of clothing they have given away. In fact they have voluntarily answered thousands of letters free of charge. Even many senior Doctors on the island refuse to dismiss these miracle cures as imagination. One senior surgeon commented that "Doctors have acquired a lot of knowledge about healing, but we are still scratching the surface. Miracles such as those attributed to little Linda Martel depend on faith which can move mountains."
A girl of 13 asked for help getting a piece of Linda's material to send to her young cousin who had been on crutches for several years and was getting worse. Within two months the girl had thrown away her crutches and by January she was 'normal again'.
Another occasion the famous tenor Victor Soverall was on the bill for a local Summer Season show in Guernsey (in fact it was my Father Sydney James that had booked him to perform), when he was taken down with throat trouble and told to rest his voice for several weeks, although he was under contract at the time. A visit with Linda Martel was arranged by Roy Martel's cousin Flo Bates who was a great fan of Victor's singing. Linda unperturbed by this being the first black man she had ever seen, placed her hands on his throat and then, after a few minutes said, "You are better now". Later when talking to others present Victor said, "it's very odd, the pain and tension have left my throat. I wonder when I will be able to sing". Linda said, "You will be able to sing tonight". This he did, and had no further problems for the rest of the season.
A man who had suffered in a racing car accident and had received all the conventional treatment available for his back injury without success, went to see Linda. He was doubled up like a cripple. When he entered the house Linda's Mother, with Linda in her arms came over to him. Without any hesitation Linda put a tiny finger on the very spot where the pain was most intense, the fifth lumbar vertebra. He was cured instantly and able to walk out of the house completely upright.
Linda had another amazing gift. She could detect illness from photographs sent to her parents from people abroad. Bearing in mind many of the accompanying letters needed to be translated into English, it was often not possible for Linda to know the nature of the problem simply from the enclosed photos. In spite of this she would point at an area of the person's body within the photo and say, "That person is sick. It is there". It was even claimed that Linda could look at photos of groups of people and point out which of the people were deceased and "With my Jesus Christ" as she put it.
Although Linda was baptised as a Christian in hospital, she seemed to have distinct aversion, even distrust of churches. Linda received no religious instruction from her parents, yet somehow knew about Jesus and his Mother Mary. Even if she had learned this during her time in the Liverpool Hospital she would have learned it at an incredibly young age.
Handkerchiefs as we know, featured highly in Linda's healing and her parents were always buying them. It states in Acts 19, 12, 'so that from his (Paul's) body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases parted from them....'
Many who met Linda Martel said she had a wisdom beyond her years and that when she looked into your eyes it was like looking into the eyes of an 'old soul'. She spoke in a manner much like a mature woman, and commanded an air of authority to those around her, (even her parents, whom she always called by their first names).
One thing is for certain, Linda's name lives on, and many visitors come to her grave even now. This same grave was miraculously spared when a landslide in the cemetery where Linda is buried, dragged 150 graves (approximately), into a nearby quarry. Somehow Linda's grave remained undisturbed though, as if by some divine intervention.
"Because so many pieces of material associated with Linda were used up, her father presented one of her dresses to the Guernsey Museum, in the hope that it might be effective in healing through people simply looking at it, since the material itself was only the intermediary of some unknown force."
Quoted From: http://www.answers.com/topic/linda-martel
Research Sources Used
- Martel, Roy. The Mysterious Power of Linda Martel. Guernsey, Channel Islands: Toucan Press, 1973.
"At the age of three, Linda frequently spoke about "my Lady" and about Jesus. The Lady had a blue dress and gold chain and lived in heaven with Jesus and also looked after her. At the age of five, Linda foretold her own death, saying, "My Jesus Christ is not coming to see me many more times, but I shall soon be going to see Him." She died October 20, 1961.
During her brief life, Linda manifested healing gifts as early as the age of three. Sometimes she would simply put her finger on a painful point and a cure would take place. At other times she healed through handkerchiefs she had handled. After her death, a sufferer from asthma asked Linda's father whether he could have a piece of her clothing. Her father gave him a piece of a dress, and the sufferer was healed after contact with the material. After that, there were constant demands for pieces of Linda's clothing, and claimed cures through contact with them included warts, eczema, spinal injury, bone disease, and throat cancer."
- Linda Martel - Little Healerby Bob Bloomfield. 1990.
Rear Cover Text:
"This story of Linda Martel, whose father at her birth pleaded with the attendant physicians that she should not be allowed to live, is one that should be read by all who favour euthanasia or abortion of an imperfect foetus. It may cause them to change their minds.
In her short life of five years and two months Linda acquired a remarkable reputation as a healer. So much so that many years after her death in 1961 her parents continued to supply snippets of her clothing to sick enquirers who, allegedly, gained benefit therefrom. Her healing ability first became apparent at the age of three. In addition, and when even younger, she possessed a commanding presence, a gentle authority that surprised all whom she met. Although like any small child, and especially one so disabled, Linda was entirely dependent upon her family, yet when giving healing she controlled events with an ability well beyond her years. Many who knew her felt that they were speaking to a mature and wise woman. Seldom depressed, this child had a strong sense of humour; one of those rare souls whose being so exuded happiness as to envelop within it all whom she contacted. An intriguing story about a remarkable child. Linda Martel born at 3.30 a.m. on Tuesday, 21st August 1956 at the Amherst Maternity Hospital, St Peter Port, Guernsey. She died of Kidney failure on 20th October 1961."
The Legend of Linda Martel by Charles Graves is another fabulous book if you can get hold of it, (currently out of print).