Grandma’s plea for sick boy answered

Posted on October 18, 2012

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Rosita Roma brings her grandson to the altar and wipes the image of Blessed Pedro Calungsod with her handkerchief.

Then she turns to wipe Aeron Miguel, a healthy one year and five-month-old boy.

Their daily ritual is a typical act of gratitude of devotees who come to the church of Pedro Calungsod in barangay Cantabacao in Toledo City, western Cebu.

When Miguel was born with congenital pneumonia, doctors warned the family there was no guarantee he would survive.

Roma recalled how she prayed hard and went to church for for two weeks after the infant was placed in the Intensive Care Unit two days after he was born on May 13, 2011.

“I was so afraid something bad would happen to my grandson. Everyday I would attend Mass and appproach the image of Calungsod to ask him to rescue Miguel from the illness,” she recalled.

The Romas live across the new parish church of Calungsod, which stands atop a hill with a 360-degree view of Toledo City.

It was inaugurated in March this year after the parish itself was established in 2006.

The boy was delivered by caeasarian operation. Immediately after, the child had difficulty breathing.

“He was kept alive by machines. A lot of tubes were connected to his body to enable him to breathe,” said his mother, Belcee Roma, a high school teacher.

Belcee said the doctors didn’t know how Aeron Miguel got the infection, whether he contracted it in her womb or when he was already born.

“I said to God that if Miguel was really not intended for us, to please take care of him. I didn’t want him to suffer,” said the teacher.

With a heavy heart, grandmother Rosita sought comfort in constant prayers for the teenage martyr to intercede.

One morning, the family was surprised to visiting Aeron Miguel and see his ventilator already removed.

“I was shocked. I asked the doctors what happened and they all told me that my son was already doing well,” Belcee said.

These were the saem doctors who told her Miguel may remain in the hospital for a month with no guarantee he would survive or turn out healthy.

The infant recovered and was discharged from the hospital after 15 days.

“I really believe that was a miracle. My son’s life is a gift from Calungsod,” said Belcee.

Today the boy is a healthy and happy child.

“Everyday, I take Miguel to Blessed Calungsod. We attend Mass together. I wipe him with the same handkerchief I use to wipe the image of Calungsod. This is our way of saying thank you for saving his life,” said the grandmother.

Fr. Russell Sungcad, parish priest in Cantabaco, said their ordeal is just one of the many trials raised to Blessed Calungsod.

Everyday people from all walks of life come to the parish church bringing with them their concerns and petitions.

Many also come back to say thank you for an answered prayer. “About 30 nursing students came back here and told me how all of them passed the board examination,” he said.

“A devotee returned after she was saved from a dangerous illness. There are really a lot of stories of hope and faith involving the church of Calungsod.”

The priest said that if people visit Calungsod’s church and lift up their concerns, the soon-to-be canonized saint of the Philippines will listen to them. /Carine M. Asutilla, Correspondent

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