In June 2012, Pope Benedict XVI officially recognized a decree from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints stating that he lived a life of “heroic virtues” – a major step towards beatification.
Bishop Sheen was my bishop back when I was in junior high school and one of my favorite actors (Martin Sheen) named himself (professionally) after him. (Martin Sheen’s real name is Ramón Estévez. He and his son, Emilio Estevez, made a wonderful movie in 2010 called The Way. If you haven’t seen it, make the time. It’s a gem.)
Dearest and I had our own unplanned miracle baby, so this story hit close to home. We knew the baby was in trouble early on and prayed for St. Gerard’s intercession on our pastor’s recommendation. We also had lots and lots of people praying for us … two whole church communities (one in Japan!) adopted us for prayer.
Like this family, our Catholic faith was extremely important to our journey through a very scary, difficult pregnancy with little Warrior Princess. Because of our problems, we began seeing a Perinatologist (high risk pregnancy specialist) at 20 weeks. Based on our medical history, he was optimistic that we could maybe get her to 35 weeks before we would have to deliver by C-section. Then he got back the first amniocentesis test.
It was grim. We were looking at possible intrauterine transfusions to try and get her to 28 weeks, the earliest he would be comfortable delivering her. But after that first amnio, each of the next six got better instead of worse … much to his surprise. He said he was the Rh expert in central New York and he knew of no case where Rh disease had gotten better during the pregnancy. Not one. Until us.
We went full term and had a normal, healthy delivery. No C-section. No NICU. No transfusions. During my post-delivery visits in the hospital, he would look at my charts, staring and shaking his head. I finally asked why. He showed me the graph of amnio results and explained how unprecedented it was for an Rh baby to get better.
I said, “Well we had a lot of prayer!”
He replied, “You can call this a ‘miracle’ if you want. I certainly can’t explain it!”