Saturday, May 12, 2007

(Now Saint) Friar Galvao's RIce-paper Pills

From the Papa Ratzinger Forum:

Both of these women spoke of their faith with the Associated Press, claiming that their children would not be alive today were it not for the tiny rice-paper pills that Friar Galvao handed out two centuries ago.

Although the friar died in 1822, the tradition is carried on by Brazilian nuns who toil in the Sao Paulo monastery where Galvao is buried, preparing thousands of the Tic Tac-sized pills distributed free each day to people seeking cures for all manner of ailments. Sandra Grossi de Almeida, 37, is one such believer. She had a uterine malformation that should have made it impossible for her to carry a child for more than four months. But in 1999, after taking the pills, she gave birth to Enzo, now 7.

"I have faith," Grossi said, pointing to her son. "I believe in God, and the proof is right here."

Nearly 10 years before that, Daniela Cristina da Silva, then 4 years old, entered a coma and suffered a heart attack after liver and kidney complications from hepatitis A.

"The doctors told me to pray because only a miracle could save her," Daniela's mother Jacyra said recently. "My sister sneaked into the intensive care unit and forced my daughter to swallow Friar Galvao's pills."

A few days later, a cured Daniela was discharged from the hospital.

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