Dino Paul narrates a heartrending account of a helpless little baby who crowned
in grace now intercedes for us.
In 2007, a bunch of vibrant JY who had a desire to love and serve babies in the womb facing the threat of abortion came together to start a ProLife ministry in Bangalore. However they were new to this and didn’t know what to do. So they decided to offer up their desire in prayer, to start and promote a ProLife culture, beginning with a strong intercession every week. The group gathered every Saturday for around 2-3 hours to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament, specially offering up the unborn.
It was not long, before the group was informed by a JY nurse, about a baby who was delivered at seven months and left without any support to help thrive. A seven month old baby in the womb is not fully developed, and needs extra care and hospitalisation to survive if born. However this child was not given any by the parents or doctors. Fully understanding that the intention of the delivery was not to respect life and unable to bear seeing the baby struggling to survive, this nurse called the Jesus Youth ProLife team in Bangalore. The ProLifers, on reaching there, they got a written consent from the parents to take the baby with them. After receiving the baby, they admitted her to St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore, where the doctors advised that the baby would need expensive ventilator support but the chances of survival were miniscule. The ProLifers did not have any funds to pay for the treatment but nevertheless boldly decided to go ahead, raise the amount and treat the baby not worrying about the outcome. The baby soon started receiving treatment and the ProLifers swaddled her with all their tender love and care. The sisters at St. John’s baptised the baby and together named her Josephine Maria Rose.
Josephine thus became the first baby to whom the ProLifers of Jesus Youth, Bangalore were the spiritual parents. Josephine, however, had a greater purpose and left us within a few days to join her heavenly father. Teary eyed and with heavy hearts, the ProLifers bade her farewell. She was buried at the Sacred Heart cemetery in Bangalore. After Josephine, the ProLifers were very sad but they were also at peace knowing they had done everything they could in their nothingness to save this baby. What they didn’t anticipate however was this incident was to mark the beginning of a new era for the ProLife Ministry of Jesus Youth, Bangalore. The team was inspired to approach doctors to try and convince them against abortion. This time, they heard about a doctor who was doing 30 abortions every month. And, the team was inspired to speak to her. Not knowing what to speak or how to speak, but deciding to put their complete trust in our all-powerful God, the group decided to head out. They split into two, and while a few members went to the hospital to meet the doctor, the rest kept interceding for them. And, God intervened! The ProLifers met with the doctor and spoke to her about the value of life and how abortion is a murder of an innocent human being. The doctor was convinced and decided to stop aborting babies from that day on. Today, this doctor has referred many abortion cases to the ministry, which has then in turn helped save many more babies. Josephine’s death sparked a new fire and renewed strength within the Bangalore ProLife ministry making the team very active. They believed that Josephine could be a patron saint for the ministry interceding for them from heaven, and so soon every prayer started to end with “our dear Josephine pray for us”. This continued and a lot of babies have been saved after.
I joined the ProLife ministry after all this in late 2007 and became the Jesus Youth ProLife Coordinator in Bangalore in 2008. I got married to Soumya Paul in January 2010 and she conceived our first baby in April 2010. Soumya had a pretty peaceful pregnancy period so she used to go for Holy Mass every day and even went on her due date. On December 20, 2010 Soumya got admitted to St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore for delivery. And, after what was a very stressful but normal delivery our baby boy (Mighael) was born. Mighael had mutliple complications like meconium aspiration, heamatoma, Erb’s palsy and shoulder dystocia following the stressful birth and he was taken to Neonatal ICU (NICU) for observation due to his rapid breathing. Although he was handed over to us later on during the day, he had to be readmitted again after two days due to hypoglycemia (low sugar). After days of pain and struggle we were finally discharged from the hospital after spending Mighael`s first Christmas also in NICU.
We were relieved and did not know that there were more challenges ahead lying in store for us. Mighael used to vomit most of the days while feeding and we thought it was quite normal. It was on our first wedding anniversary, when Mighael cried an inconsolable high-pitched cry, uprolling his eyes we knew something was wrong. Before we could even cut the cake to celebrate our special day we rushed him to the hospital. The doctor there understood that Mighael was having several episodes of seizures and admitted him to the NICU again. A CT Scan was done and it revealed bleeding in brain, which resulted in hydrocephalus. We were shattered! Never did I expect to go through such a tough and painful situation in my life. The news spread and we received a lot of prayers and support from many Jesus Youth across the world. The whole Jesus Youth family and whoever knew us kept praying for Mighael and our family. Finally the doctors decided that Mighael needed a brain surgery to save him. We had to make a choice. During all these days of our turmoil, I used to call a spiritual counsellor, to pray for Mighael. During one such prayer calls, He suddenly asked me who Josephine was. Those days no one knew about Josephine except for Jesus Youth ProLifers in Bangalore. So I told him about the only Josephine I knew and what he told me in reply was astounding. It uplifted me and felt divine. He said, “I can see Josephine praying for your son like an angel in heaven”. I had no words. It was a moment of inexplicable peace and joy for me. Josephine was there interceding for all our needs. Our years of faithful belief that Josephine was our patron saint became a truth in this Holy Spirit inspired vision and our team was elated. Mighael`s surgey turned out to be a success and he was discharged after 40 days in the NICU. The doctors however warned us that Mighael might not grow up as a normal child, considering the impact all these complications would have had on his infant brain.
We were worried, but there was nothing more we could do, apart from praying and believing in Gods mercy and love. Mighael had regular medical reviews and follow-ups for two years, and to everyone’s great joy he grew up as a normal kid, healthy and fine as a living testimony of God’s love and mercy. Mighael is now 9 years old and did face a related health issue in 2016 due to high pressure from brain. However, God has been merciful and healed him by the protection of His Precious Blood. We continue to pray for his good health and future everyday, hoping that he will grown up as a child of God and become a chosen instrument of God in the future. We also believe that Josephine continues interceding for all Jesus Youth ProLifers and it is great joy and responsibility being a part of this ministry to save lives and souls for Jesus.
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