NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — During the holiday season, there is a story of hope when it seemed all hope was lost.

After taking a painful tumble, a Brooklyn priest was told he would never walk again, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported. But now, he’s defying the odds.

“I was stepping onto the boardwalk. The right foot went into a pothole. The left foot got caught on the lip of the boardwalk and I stumbled 4 or 5 feet,” explained Father John Murray.

Murray’s fall on a Long Branch, New Jersey boardwalk in the summer of 2010 left him paralyzed from the chest down. Doctors told him he’d never walk again.

“They said you should expect no voluntary movement,” he said. “Most depressing day of my life. It took away all the hope.”

But now, doctors are shocked to see Murray walking with the assistance of crutches. The 66-year-old priest credits his miraculous recovery on two things that he says only comes with prayer.

“God’s grace and good medical care,” Murray said.

Just two months after his accident, Murray said he noticed he could move his foot.

With his continuing progress, Murray said his faith deepened. Now, after four years of intense physical and spiritual therapy, he’s on his feet again.

But Murray said often, people think a simple prayer solves everything.

“They think all they have to do is say some prayers and sit back and wait for the magic,” he said. “It doesn’t work that way. You say some prayers. You recognize the different invitations from God.”

Murray said his invitations were found in physical therapy sessions and his continuing ministry at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Brooklyn.

“He took me from the depths to an amazing healing,” Murray said. “I don’t know where he’s going to take me over the next four years, but I’m ready for the journey.”

An inspiration every step of the way.

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