Infant healed, thanks to Pedro, says grandma
TOLEDO CITY, Cebu—Every day Rosita Roma takes her grandson to the image of Blessed Pedro Calungsod at the parish church in Barangay Cantabaco in this city.
Roma is fulfilling a promise she had made to the Visayan church martyr, who, she believes, healed her grandson.
Roma, 54, was in tears when she told the Inquirer how she went every day to the Blessed Pedro Calungsod Parish Church, the first church in Cebu to bear the name of the boy martyr and just 40 meters from her house in Cantabaco while baby Aeron Miguel was under intensive care in hospital for congenital pneumonia.
“I was so afraid that something bad might happen to my grandson. So I went to Mass every day and prayed before the image of Calungsod and asked him to save Miguel from the illness,” Roma said, speaking in Cebuano.
Blessed Calungsod heard her prayers, she said.
After 15 days in intensive care, the baby recovered, and was released from hospital.
Roma believed it was a miracle by Blessed Pedro Calungsod.
Her daughter Belcee, 34, a teacher at Bunga National High School in Toledo, gave birth to Miguel by cesarean section on May 13, 2011 at Cebu Maternity Hospital in Cebu City. The doctors, however, noticed that the baby had difficulty breathing.
According to Dr. James Winford Delaga, a pediatric allergist and immunologist, the baby had neonatal pneumonia, a condition caused by bacteria that infect newborn infants.
Two days after birth, the baby was placed under intensive care at Visayas Community Medical Center, also in Cebu City.
“He was kept alive by machines. A lot of tubes were connected to his body for him to be able to breathe,” Belcee said.
She said the doctors didn’t know how Aeron Miguel developed congenital pneumonia—whether he had it when he was still in her womb or after he was born.
She admitted that she had almost lost hope that her son would be saved. Aeron Miguel is her third child with her husband, Rolando, 37, a supervisor at a car factory in Mactan Economic Zone in Lapu-Lapu City. Their two other children are aged 5 and 3.
“I said to God that if Aeron Miguel was really not for us to take care of, I asked him to take care of him. I did not want him to suffer,” Belcee said.
But her mother refused to give up.
Promise to Pedro
Roma attended Mass and prayed before the image of Blessed Calungsod, asking that the life of her grandson be saved. She one day promised that if her grandson was healed, she would bring him to the church every day.
She kept it up for two weeks, praying to and beseeching Calungsod to intervene on behalf of her grandson.
Then one morning, the family went to visit the infant in the hospital and was greeted with a pleasant surprise: the doctors had removed the baby from the ventilator.
“I was shocked. I asked the doctors what happened and they all told me that my son was already doing well,” Belcee said.
She then remembered what the doctors had told her when Aeron Miguel was under intensive care: he might stay in the hospital for a month and there was no guarantee that he would survive to grow healthy.
“I really believe that it was a miracle. My son’s life is a gift from Calungsod,” Belcee said.
Now Aeron Miguel is growing up, and he is a healthy and happy child.
Roma keeps her promise to Blessed Calungsod—she goes to Mass with Aeron Miguel every day.
“Every day, I take Aeron Miguel to Blessed Calungsod. We attend the Mass together. I wipe him with handkerchief I use to wipe the image of Calungsod. This is our way of saying thank you for saving my grandson,” Roma said.
Fr. Russell Sungcad, parish priest at Blessed Pedro Calungsod Parish Church, said what happened to Aeron Miguel was just one of the prayers answered by Blessed Calungsod.
He said many people came to the church daily—all with different intentions. And they all came back to say that their prayers had been answered, Suncad said.
“There were around 30 nursing students who came back here and told me how all of them passed the board examination. There was also a devotee who came back after she was saved from a dangerous illness. There are really a lot of stories of hope and faith involving the church of Calungsod,” he said.
Monthly healing Mass
Sungcad said most of the prayers to the Visayan martyr involved healing from illness. Because of this, the church will hold a monthly healing Mass, starting today as Blessed Calungsod is being canonized in Rome.
The healing Mass will be held every 21st of the month, Sungcad said.
“It is actually a very good idea because we can further serve the devotees, especially those who need attention and prayers for them to be free from all their health problems,” he said.
Sungcad said the healing Mass was not only for health but also for other concerns, including personal and financial problems.
“I can personally listen to that and lift it up to God through the intercession of St. Calungsod,” Sungcad said.
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