It was December 2003 when my daughter Sofe, her husband, Zoilo and their only son, Jeff were scheduled to
take a vacation and to join me in Los Angeles, California where I was staying then with my youngest daughter Veron, who has been residing in the US for the past ten years together with her husband and two children. We eagerly waited for their arrival. As a matter of fact my two grandsons in the US were too excited and could not wait to see their Tita, Tito and especially cousin Jeff from the Philippines again. Plans were made and the itinerary of their Christmas visit was laid out with much excitement.
A week before their scheduled flight, my daughter Sofe called us up in the US and informed that their trip would not push through. She told me that she was advised by her OB-GYNE to undergo hysterectomy at the soonest possible time. She was diagnosed to have the dreaded “C” in her uterus and it was necessary to do surgery to remove the growth and to know the extend of the disease. I was dumbfounded with the information and comforted my daughter on the phone. Between controlled sobs I told her to be strong and to pray hard. That night, shaking with fear for my daughter’s safety, tears rolling down my face I prayed hard and asked for the intercession of Mama Mary to ask her Divine Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ to give my daughter strength, courage and faith in the goodness of Our Savior. The next day, a friend, who like me has been staying with her children in the US for so long, came to visit me. She found me crying, still unable to accept the information I got from the Philippines. She asked me what the problem was so I told her the bad news. After listening, she told me about the Shrine of St. Peregrine in the Old Mission San Juan Capistrano Church in San Diego, California. She asked me to go there and pray to St. Peregrine, being know to be the Patron Saint for cancer sufferers. I immediately agreed to her suggestion and thanked God for sending an angel in the form of my friend to ease my worry a bit. That night when my daughter Veron arrived from work I discussed with her my desire to visit St. Peregrine’s Shrine in San Diego.
On December 11, a day before my daughter Sofe’s scheduled operation in the Philippines, we went on
a long drive to San Diego. The weather was not so good that day. It was foggy. My son-in-law could not drive us because he had work, so my daughter Veron had to drive. I told her to be extra careful as we were also traveling with my two young grandsons. With God’s grace we reached san Juan Capistrano safely despite the weather.
Before you can visit the St. Peregrine Shrine, you have to hear mass at the San Juan Mission Capistrano Cathedral which is a bit distant from the Shrine itself. At the gate, you have to ask permission from the Sisters of the Mission for a visit to the Shrine. When we got inside, I eagerly knelt before St. Peregrine and prayed fervently for his intercession for the successful operation of my daughter Sofe in the Philippines. After saying my prayer I looked around and saw bright lighted candles and smelled a sweet fragrance permeating the air. I wondered where the scent came from then turned back to St. Peregrine and asked permission from him to get two copies of the leaflet piled in one corner of the room. I wanted to send a copy to my daughter back home in the Philippines.
Back home in my daughter’s house in North Hollywood, California as I entered my room smelled the same sweet scent again. To my mind and to my great belief in St. Peregrine I took it as a sign of an answered prayer. Later, that same night I called Sofe’s husband in the Philippines to ask him about the operation. He told me that everything went well, it was not bloody, there were no complications and that my daughter Sofe was alright and out of the recovery room. She was already in her room, a bit groggy from the anesthesia but is well awake. I said a silent prayer of gratitude to St. Peregrine.
Three months after Sofe’s operation, I went back to the Philippines. I was happy with her fast recovery and even happier because the “C” turned out to be Stage 1-a and that there was no need for my daughter to undergo chemotherapy. She was only given hormone replacement treatment with constant medical supervision. Thank GOD through the intercession of St. Peregrine she is doing well up to now. She has been using the leaflet that I sent her from the US and has included St. Peregrine in her daily devotional prayers since then.
I promised to offer a thanksgiving mass in honor of St. Peregrine in his Shrine at San Diego but I failed to do so while I was in the US. Thank GOD He sent angels to our family again in the persons of Ric and Cynthia Rivera. Cynthia is sofe’s close friend and officemate. She was the one who told us that her husband Ric, who is a Lay
Minister has been to the Shrine of St. Peregrine in Tunas an, Muntinlupa and that a Healing Mass is held every Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Hence, one Sunday afternoon (October 16, 2005), I attended my first Healing Mass in the said Shrine, together with Sofe and her family and Ric` and Cynthia’s family. I finally fulfilled my promise to offer a Thanksgiving Mass to St. Peregrine.
I have brought my two other sons and daughter to the St. Peregrine Shrine in Tunasan. I hope to bring my two other children who are abroad when they come home for a vacation here in the Philippines . As one family, we will offer our endless thanksgiving to GOD ALMIGHTY for HIS ENDLESS GOODNESS and MERCY.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!