A Happy Surprise
The room seemed to spin as the weight of reality set in before me. There, glaring up at me, were two pink lines on a test stick confirming my unplanned pregnancy. I felt a numbing sensation in that moment, but the shock quickly faded away when I saw Mario's excitement. As a father of five, he was overjoyed at the prospect of welcoming one more into our family. His elation helped to calm my nerves. I still had concerns about carrying a baby at the so-called "geriatric" age of 37, but Mario's enthusiasm reassured me that everything would be alright.
Over the next few days and weeks, I grew to genuinely cherish the life that was growing inside me. I had an instinctive feeling that it was a girl. I chose a name for her, sang to her, and eagerly looked forward to her arrival.
An Inevitable Loss
It didn't take long for me to realize that something was profoundly amiss with the pregnancy. I should have been experiencing bouts of nausea, fatigue, and food aversion, but I carried on as if there was no pregnancy at all. The morning sickness, at its worst, was mild and then gradually faded away. And then came the unsettling presence of blood.
I would reassure myself, saying, 'It's just implantation bleeding.' I had convinced myself that the bright red spotting was a normal occurrence in certain pregnancies and would eventually subside. However, as those bright red spots evolved into small blood clots, I had to confront the possibility that I might be experiencing a miscarriage.
Mario served as the voice of reason in that critical moment, calmly persuading me to make the trip to the emergency room. The nightmare truly began in full force the moment I stepped through those doors.
The doctors confirmed my pregnancy through a blood test but were unable to locate my baby on the ultrasound. Their concern escalated rapidly as they suspected an ectopic pregnancy, a condition that posed a severe threat to both my life and the baby's.
Dizziness washed over me as I listened to the doctor explain that a medical abortion might be necessary to terminate the pregnancy. Mario held my hand tightly as tears streamed down my face, blurring my vision. The realization that everything I had dreamed for this baby had suddenly crumbled was devastating. Yet, I also grappled with the daunting prospect of having to give consent to end the pregnancy, placing not only my faith but also everything I believed in on the line.
In that moment, I did the only thing I could do —I prayed. Holding my rosary in my hand, I implored God to be my guide, beseeching Him to send His angels to assist me. I also turned to the saints for intercession. I asked Saint Teresa of Calcutta to pray for me during my affliction, knowing that she had firsthand experience with the kind of care I would require. I called upon my guardian angel to watch over me and offer prayers on my behalf, and I invoked the aid of Saint Raphael, God's physician, asking for his intercession in my healing process. And then I asked him again "Saint Raphael, patron saint of healing, courage, happy marriage, and travel.
intercessor for the sick please pray for me"
In that moment, I needed the divine assistance of one of God's most beloved angels, Saint Raphael the Archangel.
A Brief Introduction to Saint Raphael and the book of Tobit
For those who may not be acquainted with Saint Raphael and his contributions, let me provide a concise introduction to who he is.
Saint Raphael, a revered and prominent figure in Christianity, is renowned for his dual role as both an archangel and a healer. In accordance with tradition, he holds the distinction of being one of the three archangels explicitly mentioned by name in the Bible (alongside Michael and Gabriel). Furthermore, he is counted among the seven angels who stand in the presence of God's throne.
The complete account of his story is narrated in the Book of Tobit, which can be found within the pages of the Holy Bible. The book of Tobit offers valuable lessons on faith, humility, family, marriage, healing, perseverance and the importance of prayer.
The text tells the story of a righteous Israelite named Tobit and his son Tobias.
The narrative commences with Tobit, residing in Nineveh alongside his wife Anna and their son Tobias. Despite his blindness, Tobit remains steadfast in his devotion to God and is renowned for his benevolent deeds. Regrettably, he endures ridicule from his neighbors and faces false accusations of engaging in the prohibited act of burying the dead.
In time, Tobit decides to dispatch his son Tobias on a journey to recover funds he had entrusted to a relative in a distant land. Along this arduous journey, Tobias encounters a man named Azariah, who is, in fact, the archangel Raphael in disguise. Disguised as Azariah, Raphael provides invaluable assistance to Tobias, aiding him in surmounting various challenges and ultimately guiding him to successfully retrieve the money and marry a woman named Sarah.
The book delves into the theme of marriage, portraying the challenges that Tobias and Sarah encounter in their relationship. Sarah's past marriages ended tragically, with all seven of her husband's passing away on their wedding night. With the assistance of Raphael, Tobias manages to break this curse, and the two find happiness in their union.
Throughout the narrative, a profound emphasis is placed on prayer and the potency of faith. Both Tobit and Tobias engage in consistent prayer, and their petitions are met with divine answers. The book serves as a poignant reminder to its readers about the significance of maintaining unwavering faith and trusting in God, even during the most trying circumstances.
What particularly captivated my attention in the Book of Tobias was the remarkable ability of the Archangels to facilitate healing. To lift the curse afflicting Sarah, the angel provides precise guidance to young Tobias on the steps necessary for her recovery. Similarly, when Tobias seeks a remedy for his fathers blindness, the Archangel offers clear and explicit instructions on how to achieve it. Remarkably, when the Archangel finally discloses his true identity, he declares himself as "Raphael, Gods Healer."
A Voice in the Night
It is this ability to heal of behalf of God that in my moment of medical turmoil I called desperately upon his divine intercession. "Saint Raphael" I called upon in him my heart " Patron Saint of medical workers and hospitals, most beloved angel whom God has bestowed the power to heal, please pray for us."
That night, my bleeding intensified, as did my pain and prayers. By the grace of God, my pregnancy ended naturally, sparing me from the necessity of a medical abortion. While I was grateful that I didn't have to make that difficult choice or potentially undergo surgery, I couldn't help but feel distraught and overwhelmed by the emotional toll that accompanies a miscarriage. Despite the wealth of information available online, none of it can truly capture the depth of what a woman goes through during those moments.
Sleep eluded me, leaving me with nothing but tears and prayers. I wept and then turned to prayer, repeating the cycle. I cried out to God, seeking answers for why this was happening and pleading for healing for my wounded womb. On that second night, I wept myself into slumber, only to awaken in what seemed like a dream, though I was fully awake in my bed.
The stillness of the night was interrupted by a booming and very clear voice. "Be still and praise God" it said. "You should be thanking God for his Mercy" the voice continued "For your womb will make a complete recovery." and the voice continued further in a harsh and urging voice it said "Give thanks to God for He has healed your womb faster than most. You do not need to worry about future pregnancies but you will be a spiritual mother to many children. God has closed your womb. Give thanks to God"
I sat up and bed and immediately praised God and acknowledged my sins and lack of faith. I prayed the Lord's Prayer and put emphasis on the part that states "thy will be done."
I won't pretend to understand God's will but I know it is perfect. I won't question my pregnancy lose because I understand that it was and still is a part of his divine plan. However I do wonder if that midmorning visitor may have been from the blessed Archangel Raphael. Of course there is no way to know for sure, but my reassurance of healing, and humility makes me wonder.
Either way I give praise and thanks to God, not only for the insanely rapid healing of my womb, but also for the angels and all the saints for continue to pray for us sinners.
Encouragement for My Friends
My cherished friends, I earnestly encourage you to explore and seek the intercession of the Blessed Saint Raphael Archangel, the patron saint of healing, marriages, and safe journeys. I suggest beginning your journey by delving into sacred scriptures, and then delve into the profound writings of the Saints who have come before us. Additionally, there is a concise and well-crafted book titled "St. Raphael: Angel of Marriage of Healing, of Happy Meetings, of Joy and of Travel" written by Angela Carol. It's available from Tan Books, and provides a comprehensive understanding of this highly revered angel. You can find the book available for purchase here.
I hope this finds you well, and if not I pray for your well-being.