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Philippines

Filipinos tell of 'miracles' in wake of heart relic visit

Church leaders hope relic will also heal 'a country confronted by social ills'

Mark Saludes, Manila

Mark Saludes, Manila

Updated: April 04, 2019 04:09 AM GMT
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Filipinos tell of 'miracles' in wake of heart relic visit

People pray for healing of the sick before the heart relic of St. Camillus de Lellis during its visit to the Philippines in February and March. (Photo by Maria Tan)

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Emelinda Magtibay claims she was healed of her ailment after she prayed before the heart relic of St. Camillus de Lellis during its 2013 visit to the Philippines.

She said it was her faith that healed her after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, which she described left her feeling "like heaven and earth had collided."

Magtibay, Emy to her friends, confided that she was "ready to face the creator if it was his will," but she wanted to live for her 12-year-old son "who still needs a mother."

"Cancer did not weaken my faith. It made me more prayerful," she said. 

"I solicited prayers from people I knew. I texted my relatives, friends, some priests to pray for me," recalled Emy.

One of those who responded was a priest who informed her of the visit of the heart relic of St. Camillus de Lellis.

"I did not know anything about the saint but his name was familiar," said Emy. 

"I went to the exposition of his relic, I touched it, and asked him to help me," she said.

When she submitted to treatment her body became so weak, but prayers helped her survive. "It was really a miracle for me," she said. 

When the heart relic came to the country the second time around this year, Emy was there to welcome it.

"I whispered to the relic again, but this time to thank him," she said. 

Another "miracle" occurred during the relic’s visit at the Heart Center of the Philippines in February.

Eliza Viray was at the center to check the condition of damaged veins in her legs due to a rare disease.

"I could hardly walk and climb the stairs. I cried almost every night because I felt I could not walk again," she said. 

Her mother told her that the relic was at the hospital and convinced Eliza to pay a visit.

"I went to look for the relic. I prayed in tears while touching his heart, went to confession, and attended Mass," she recalled.

She continued her prayers even after she went home.

Days later, Eliza and her doctors were in for a surprise. Her veins were normal and all were as good as if she was never sick.

"I am sharing this to make St. Camillus de Lellis famous to all people, especially the sick," she said.

Emelinda Magtibay Ramos, a cancer survivor, who claims to have been healed through the intercession of St. Camillus de Lellis. (Photo by Mark Saludes) 

 

Father Dan Vicente Cancino, executive secretary of the Commission on Health Care of the bishops’ conference, said his office has received many reports about healing from patients.  

"We’ve lost count of the miracles we heard about and were reported," the priest told ucanews.com. 

"We believe that through the intercession of St. Camillus, these sick people have received healing from God," he added.

Father Cancino, however, expressed hope that the heart relic visit will not only heal sick people, but also "a country confronted by social ills." 

He called on Filipinos to look at the life of St. Camillus and learn the value of "dignity of life."

"The journey of the heart relic of St. Camillus in the Philippines is a reminder that we need to revive whatever humanity there is left in us," said Father Cancino.

He noted that people are getting killed every day "but most of us do not care anymore."

"If we do not have compassion for those who are living, what more to those who are dying?" said the priest. 

On April 2, the heart relic of St. Camillus left the Philippines, but Emy said she would never tire from telling her "miracle story." 

"I might never see the heart relic again but I will pray as long as I am alive and I will make St. Camillus known to other people," she said. 

The heart relic is contained in a crystal glass in the shape of a heart. It was removed from the saint’s body an hour after his death on July 14, 1614. 

St. Camillus, who was a priest from Italy, established the international Catholic congregation Ministers of the Infirm or the Camillians, which is dedicated to caring for the sick.

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