My brother, Mateo Garcia, was hospitalized at the Chong Hua General Hospital in the Philippines on August 20, 2007. He suffered from bleeding peptic ulcer disease, chronic liver disease, sepsis, osteomyletis, cellulitis and intravascular disease. He also had internal bleeding that the doctors could not alleviate. He was given more than 70 blood transfusions. I asked the doctor to tell us the real score about my brother’s condition so that we could prepare ourselves. The doctor told us that it was just a matter of time. Mateo was going to die. My brother Ricardo and I went to Mateo’s bedside in the Intensive Care Unit and we all prayed together. We recited the prayers our parents taught us when we were little – “Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul; Jesus, Mary and Joseph, assist me in my last agony; Jesus, Mary and Joseph I breathe forth my soul in peace with you.” When Mateo fell asleep, Ricardo and I left the hospital, feeling very forlorn. We begged God to give us the strength to accept His will for our brother.
The next day, one of the Chinese doctors gave my brother a herbal medicine. A good friend stopped by the hospital and brought us a framed picture of Padre Pio, Padre Pio’s Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and a prayer leaflet with a tiny relic of Padre Pio on it. Mateo and I kissed the relic and returned it to my friend. Earnestly and from our hearts, Ricardo and I prayed the prayers of Padre Pio with Mateo. The following day, when we came to see Mateo in the ICU, we learned that the bleeding had stopped altogether. My brother was discharged from the hospital on the 15th of September. He is now recuperating at home. Thanks be to God and to the intercession of St. Pio!
– Josefina Garcia Serranilla