International Pentecostal evangelist Morris Cerullo died at the age of 88 on Saturday, the day after his family said he was being treated for pneumonia at a hospital in California.
“Today we remember the incredible life of this great man. Your Legacy will live on!” the evangelist’s family wrote on Instagram on Saturday, announcing his death.
On Friday, Cerullo’s family wrote on Facebook about his hospitalization.
“Dear Friends, we would appreciate your immediate prayers for Dr. Cerullo who is being treated for Pneumonia at the hospital,” the post read. “Please also pray for Theresa who has been working around the clock to assist in his care. She needs your prayers too for extra strength at this time. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers for Morris and Theresa!”
The evangelist is survived by his wife, Theresa, his children, David Cerullo and Susan Peterson, seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
In December 2016, Cerullo told The Christian Post in an interview that he had battled serious health issues, but had recovered after being bedridden for nearly eight months that year.
He said it was God’s healing that restored him after vasculitis, a family of uncommon diseases that feature inflammation of the blood vessels with no known cause, left him unable to move. “This is probably the greatest miracle I’ve ever seen in my life. You know I’ve seen thousands and thousands of people miraculously cured but nothing like this. I was given up by the doctors. I was paralyzed, they had me in a wheelchair for maybe seven, eight months this year,” Cerullo said at the time.
“I had my whole leg here eaten away,” he said, rolling up his pants on his right leg to display his now healthy foot. “I have pictures. I showed them on TV of the whole of my leg in the red. Raw. Way down. Deep inside. ... I was bedfast. No doctor could help me. So what I did? God gave me an incredible miracle, and so you can see brand new flesh.”
Cerullo authored more than 80 books about God’s miraculous moves. He also wrote an autobiography called The Legend of Morris Cerullo: How God Used an Orphan to Change the World.
“The autobiography goes back to my roots. Most people, they see Morris on the platform, I’ve been in India with 500,000 people in one service, and they see me up on the platform but they don’t know the real me. And so I wanted to let them know how I have experienced the grace of God in my own life,” he said at the time.
“How God took a little orphan boy who lost his mother when I was 2 years of age and had a drunken father who deserted five children, and how the hand of God, so mysteriously from the time he was a little boy, was on his life and how God led him through the Jewish Orthodox orphanages that I was placed,” he added.
He earlier said God told him “son, do you know prophets never retire?” God then gave him the idea for the Morris Cerullo Legacy and Training Center, he said. It’s a facility in San Diego to train evangelists from around the world.
Cerullo’s ministry recently opened a $200 million religious-themed resort and conference center in San Diego.
“San Diego has been my home since 1959 and I’m thrilled to bring this vision to life in such a vibrant community,” Cerullo said at the time. “San Diego is a diverse city and we look forward to welcoming people of all cultures, faiths and backgrounds to experience Legacy International Center.”
Cerullo traveled around the world for his ministry, which spread following major international preaching missions he organized. He made some controversy and was indicted for failing to report his total income for over three years in the 1990s, though charges in the case were dismissed.