CEBU, Philippines – A family of a once sickly baby believes that their prayer was answered by the Philippines' next saint, Blessed Pedro Calungsod.
Rosita Roma was in tears as she recalled how she prayed and frequented the Blessed Pedro Calungsod Parish in Cantabaco, Toledo City church for two weeks while her grandson, Aeron Miguel, was inside the Intensive Care Unit two days after he was born on May 13, 2011.
"I was so afraid that something bad might happen to my grandson. Every day I would attend the mass and personally come to the image of Calungsod to rescue Miguel from the illness," said Rosita, who lives just across the church of Calungsod in Cantabaco, Talisay City.
Aeron Miguel was diagnosed with congenital pneumonia, which was characterized by difficulty in breathing. His mother, high school teacher Belcee Roma, gave birth to him through caesarian operation.
"Only machines were supporting his life back then. A lot of tubes were connected to his body for him to be able to breathe," Belcee said.
Belcee said the doctors did not know if Aeron Miguel got the illness while he was still in her womb or when he was already born. She admitted that she almost lost hope that her child will be saved.
"I said to God that if Aeron Miguel is really not for us to take care, I asked him to take care of him. I do not want him to suffer," she said.
Rosita, however, said it was then that she searched for comfort from Blessed Pedro Calungsod.
One morning, the family was surprised when doctors said Aeron Miguel can live without the ventilators attached to him.
"I was shocked. I asked the doctors what happened and they all told me that my son is already doing well," Belcee said.
She described the baby's sudden recovery as a miracle, since doctors already said that there was no guarantee that Miguel will survive the illness.
"I really believe that it was a miracle. My son's life is a gift from Calungsod," Belce said.
Rosita, meanwhile, said she and her grandson have since become a devotee of Calungsod, who is set to be canonized on October 21.
"Every day, I take Aeron Miguel to Blessed Calungsod. We attend the mass together. I wipe him with the handkerchief I used to wipe the image of Calungsod. This is our way of saying thank you for saving my grandson," Rosita said.
Fr. Russell Sungcad, the parish priest of Blessed Pedro Calungsod Parish Church, said that what happened to Aeron Miguel is just one of the prayers heard by Blessed Calungsod. .
He said a lot of people who prayed to Calungsod attested that their prayers were granted.
"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," Sungcad said.
Sungcad encouraged the public to visit Calungsod's church and try to lift up their concerns to him. He believes that the soon-to-be saint of the Philippines will listen to them.