Twelve years ago, while on vacation, I volunteered at a youth center run by members of Opus Dei. The day we went to the shore something happened that changed my life forever. As we were preparing to leave, gathering for a group photo, an iron protective railing gave way and I fell almost 20 feet, striking my shoulder against the wooden dock to which the boat was moored.
It took three surgeries to stabilize my spine. After some time I was able to walk again. In the days following the accident several doctors I didn’t know came into my room and asked the same question: “Who is the saint watching over you?” And I replied, “St. Josemaría Escrivá.” “Well, then,” they said, “he’s the one you have to thank for being able to move your legs after such a fall.” Indeed I had said his prayer card before leaving for the beach that day, asking for his protection.
Recently I became a mother for the second time. Due to the accident, I have a fibrous spine, which reduces the effectiveness of the epidural anesthesia. Also everything happened so quickly there wasn’t time to administer the injection. So I had to endure the pain. Time went by, and still no child. It was late, and my strength was failing, so I asked St. Josemaría once more: “Let this birth come at 1 a.m.!” And thank God, just as I was about to ask for a Cesarean, at 1:02, Juanito was born.
It was late, and my strength was failing, so I asked St. Josemaría once more: “Let this birth come at 1 a.m.!”
In the days that followed, I had one more scare, when the doctors thought the baby would have to be kept for a week to perform an “antibiotherapy” and a “phototherapy.” Once more I had recourse to St. Josemaría, and they decided those procedures weren’t needed. So we were able to go home in peace.
Joana Bouça lives in Porto, Portugal.
Many people ask St. Josemaría to intercede with God for them. See other stories here.