On Perseverance and Fortitude

Dr. Ricardo B. de los Santos, PhD

This is a story recounted to me by my wife. When she was still an assistant Principal of Emilio Jacinto Elementary School in Manila, the school was visited by the Division’s elementary science supervisor, Mr. Felipe Saclamitao, and the person assigned to welcome and assist him, he told her this story.

Mr. Saclamitao’s wife, Fanny was diagnosed to be terminally ill by her oncologist. Even when they sought other experts’ opinions it was deemed that her cancer cells have spread too fast and she had only a few months to live.  A man of science, Mr. Saclamitao found that human knowledge is so limited, it is too limited to combat a mysterious disease such as cancer.  But Mr. Saclamitao loves his wife so much and did not take the doctor’s words as a dead end. He told his children that they will resort to God and His friends.

And so, every day when they were already complete, they will encircle Fanny, clasping hands and rosary together, they pray the holy rosary imploring Divine intervention for her to be healed. Each day they asked the Virgin Mother and the saint for the day to send her healing and ease her excruciating pain.  Then Mr. Saclamitao heard about Fr. Corsie Legaspi, one among many Filipino healer priests and he decided to bring Fanny to him. But since they came from far away, they could no longer come close to Fr. Corsie to receive his blessing. 

In his mind,  Felipe thought, maybe if God-man crucified at the altar would only show mercy, he would detach his crucified right hand and bless Fanny, and his wife will be cured.  But the crucified Christ did not move, he didn’t have to. Near the altar where he was blessing the sick Fr., Corsie called out to them and told the people to allow them to pass. For at that instance, the priest felt Christ’s power direct him to the couple at the back.  Felipe carried the very weak Fanny and approached the priest, the people overcome with awe as they allowed them to pass.  And thus, Fanny was given the blessing. The priest becomes his right hand.

All of a sudden, she felt her whole body perspiring. After a prayer of thanks and acknowledgment of the priest’s kindness.  Fanny wanted to rush home.  She was bathing in sweat as if letters of it were flowing from her body.  Fr. Legaspi knew right away that she had received the gift of healing.

Back at home, she felt different. She no longer had the tormenting stabs. Upon changing her clothes, she asked to be brought to see the doctor.  The experts called each other. Indeed there had been a miraculous cure. They no longer saw a trace of it.

Had Felipe been a weaker man, he would have succumbed to depression via anxiety. He would have resorted to vice. Had Fanny been a weaker woman, she could have gone into despair.  And of course, the wonderful children laden with faith and fortitude could have simply lapsed into the allure of vices, anxiety, and depression. But the real man of science, men with true wisdom, is determined in the faithful resolution.  They need not imagine the crucified Christ detaching his hand fixed on the cross with a nail. Men of such perseverance and fortitude fueled by faith are worthy of being witnesses to God’s hidden miracles.

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