This is the story that my mother, Dr. Norma Torres, shared with me when I was about ten years old.
When she was about eight months pregnant with me, she went with her mother and sisters to the airport to see my father, a young professor of dentistry, off as he left for a week of conferences in Santiago, Chile. My mother felt so sad that dad was leaving, even for that short time that she cried inconsolably. As she and her relatives were returning from the airport, she started to feel abdominal pain. Since the pain continued to increase, instead of going home they decided to head to the clinic.
Unexpectedly and earlier than anyone would have imagined, she had gone into labor. Soon after the delivery, mom’s doctor, Dr. Armand Stricker, began to worry because the new born wasn’t able to breathe and was turning blue. In the waiting room, my grandmother and aunts were notified that the child may not make it due to respiratory complications. In the midst of these circumstances, they all began to pray. Meanwhile, after performing CPR on me and after quite a scare, Dr. Stricker was able to get me breathing. He then gave the good news to all in the waiting room.
My mother always reminds me that, during those moments of uncertainty, my grandmother had quietly asked for the intercession of St. Martin de Porres and made a promise to him if the baby survived. Since that day Martin is my middle name and my grandmother, Esmeralda, fulfilled her promise on the day mom and I were released from the clinic.
To be continued on November 30.
fr. Juan, OP