For me, the stage was set early in October when we were at a birthday gathering in Pachacamac, about 45 minutes south of where we live in Lima.
Gaby’s family has some property there, which they use on the weekends for occasional get togethers.
It was a typical celebration. Nothing out of the ordinary. Until a gentleman approached me as I was carrying Adriana around the property.
I’d met him before, and we’ve held brief conversations at other gatherings. He’s the father of my sister-in-law’s good friend.
Fairly recently, he was diagnosed with stomach cancer, and he’s been through a difficult time, as you can imagine. I would guess he’s in his mid-70’s.
Adri and I were off by ourselves, looking for snails or roly-polies or something like that, when he approached us.
He asked me if I knew who St. Jude Thaddeus was.
Being Catholic, I felt I should know. But there was no way I was going to lie, for fear of being struck down by lightning.
He proceeded to tell me that St. Jude is the saint we pray to in desperate situations. He was one of the 12 apostles.
He was martyred, suffering death by decapitation for his belief in Christ.
He didn’t mention Adriana’s disease. He never has, to me anyway.
But, I knew what he was talking about.
As a man suffering from stomach cancer, I certainly understand his devotion to St. Jude. Especially during his difficult treatments.
I know from Gaby’s cancer, things can and do feel desperate and hopeless.
His faith was evident, as he touched Adri’s legs and her head with compassion and a smile crossed his face.
So, I pray.
Although I don’t necessarily view Adri’s condition as desperate, compared to others with more serious conditions, I still pray.
Senor de Los Milagros
A mother whose child also gets therapy there invited us to attend.
All month, you can go to services throughout the day to pray to Christ, the Lord of Miracles. It’s really quite encouraging and powerful to see so many people joined in prayer.
We were able to take Adri and Santi right up to the large statue at the front of the church to say our prayer and let them touch the statue with their little hands.
Many parishes have their own smaller statues that they use during processions in their own districts.
Last year, I was honored to be able to help carry the statue for a short distance down our street.
I thought of Adriana.
I thought of Christ carrying the cross to his own crucifixion.
And, I plan to do the same this week when the procession passes our house again.
I’ll pray for a cure. I’ll pray for children with SMA.
I’ll pray for a miracle.