Though my dad’s surgeries were miraculously successful, the matter of his recovery wasn’t a walk in the park. He needed multiple transfusions as his blood platelets were low, he battled a stubborn fever, the cause of which was unknown and he could barely stand up. I worried about further complications, which were admittedly fueled by medical malpractice cases I’d read in the past. So I was inspired to assemble a heavenly team of intercessors by asking some of the most prayerful bloggers in this planet who their favorite saints were so that I could begin a novena. St. Jude cropped up more than once, and he being the saint of desperate cases (which I was) and cases despaired of (which it was), seemed the most qualified saint to lead my team. I also volunteered St. Philomena, as co-captain and my favorite archangel, St. Raphael (because hello! he’s the angel of healing and has never let me down). Everyday, I’d ask a new saint to be the saint of the day with a short invocation, “St. Anthony/ St. Maximilian Kolbe/ St. Francis Xavier/ Mother Teresa /St. Louis and St. Zelie/St. Giuseppe Moscati, pray for us.”
|Captain St. Jude|
On day one of my novena, I came across a story of a father of young children who was involved in a near fatal car accident. Though the doctors told his wife they didn’t expect him to live, his wife prayed to St. Jude and the following day, the doctors announced that his chances of survival were good. The father, who had been having marital problems, was eventually healed, became a better husband and father and ultimately, a deacon of the Church. Not that I expect a deacon to ripen out of our family tree, but this buoyed my spirits tremendously.
On day two, one of our finest Benedictine priest friends who had coincidentally taken a trip to the Philippines went to visit my dad. They had a lengthy private visit, which led Fr. J to text us that he was deeply blessed to have a met my dad, whom he called, “a man of great faith.” I don’t know what they discussed and doubt I will ever know as my dad keeps his faith in silence but I am positive, that the Holy Sprit entered that space and was profoundly at work through his second dose of the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick.
At day three, I noticed my St. Jude picture was grazing on bluebells (my signal graces from heaven). That same night, we parked in front of a random truck at Lowe’s. At the truck’s dashboard, I glimpsed a rosary and a statue of --whoelse?-- St. Jude. Within minutes, my mom text me that my dad was being released of the CCU (Coronary Care Unit).
But the next few days dragged through until day 7 without any significant improvements. I shook my head, thinking, “I must have overestimated your intercessory powers, St. Jude. You’ve only got two days to pull this off. “
By day 9, Dad’s fever was gone, and by the following week, he took the flight home and walked for the first time since surgery.
I will never doubt the patron saint of hopeless cases again.