A true story about a child & healthcare-advised abortion (from May 1995)


       This would be sad if it were fiction, but it is not.  It happened in Oregon about three and a half years ago.  A lady expecting her first child received a call at work from the hospital where a test had been done.  The hospital needed to see her and advise her on what she should do.    A test indicated she was carrying a "Down's Syndrome" child.  Another test to draw fluid to confirm it, would be dangerous, so the healthcare professionals advised an abortion. 

      The mother was shaken but she gathered strength from her inner being, and said, "God gave me this child and I shall love it as a normal child.  It is my wish to leave it in His hands."  For about seven months she waited and she prayed, and many joined with her including prayer groups.  Then there was the worrisome news that the baby was small.  She and others continued to pray.

       In due course a baby girl was born and they named her Sarah.  She was born normal.   

 God would confound the healthcare professionals who really neither cared about the health of the child — they would've destroyed it — nor in the realm of true medical ethics were professional.

       But the story doesn't end here.

       One day, when Sarah was about 18 months old, at a time of deep family crisis, she saw a picture on the kitchen table where various members of the family were seated.  It was a picture of a fragmented Host in a display vessel
the Betania, Venezuela, Eucharistic miracle which has ecclesiastical approval. 

      She looked at the picture and suddenly exclaimed: "It's God!  It's God!  He's broke.  Kiss it!  Kiss it!"  Her family broke into wonder.  While she'd gone up with her grandmother when she received the Eucharist, it was always a whole Host.  At adoration of the Blessed Sacrament it would have been a whole Host again.  The Holy Eucharist in the setting of this picture might not even to recognizable to grown ups of the faith (essential part of the picture of what Sarah saw to the right).

      This was the child the medical people slated for death.  A child of 1 1/2 years recognizing God in the Eucharist, a broken Eucharist at that.  But even more than this, expressing feeling and a child's remedy: kiss the hurt.

      As months went by, she began to go up to the Communion rail, kneel, bow her head in prayer and upon leaving , throw Jesus on the Cross a kiss.  She has been observed — and photographed without her knowing it — climbing a chair to touch Jesus hanging  on a large crucifix.  While she could not stretch enough to touch His nailed feet, she was able to touch their footrest.

      Her grandmother has a bust of the suffering Christ in her bedroom.  The child on one occasion asked to stay by Him.  On another occasion she told the suffering Jesus, "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry."  Then she got a comb, climbed a stool and combed his scraggly hair to make Him beautiful.

      She also expresses devotion to His mother.  She will kneel before an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe whom she calls Guadalupe.

      She is not yet three years of age, but knows the Hail Mary, will remind family members of meal prayers and even knows some of the Mass prayers by heart. 

      The medical people thought they had the answer.  They didn't.  In their misguided thinking, they sought to override creation.  Sarah is an example of what creation is all about.   We are created to know God, to love Him and serve Him in this world.  Sarah in her very young years is doing just that!  She may have paid more honor to Our Lord since her birth, than many have done in a whole lifetime!

     This is what abortion would've destroyed—not only a life but the fulfillment of God's purpose!

                                                                                                                       —John Riedell, May 30, 1995

This unpublished story, kept by her grandmother,
                                                                                                                        was typed with some paragraph changes, parenthetical
                                                                                                                        information added and minor editing.
Here are a couple pictures of Sarah in her young years, pictures that would not have been taken and years that would not have been, had her mother listened to the advice of the medical people.   In one she is shown with her younger sister Shannon.                                    

(A serious, maybe pensive picture of a young Sarah.  She had a birthmark on her cheek, and was told that's where Jesus kissed her.   In time the mark would disappear and then she asked why Jesus took the kiss away).

          Sarah is now a young lady, in attendance at a midwestern university (August 2012).                   _______________________________________________________________________________________

       The following is a related story―related in subject and in persons.  A cousin of Sarah's mother lives in California and more than 11 years ago she was with child after a miscarriage and cancer.  She said, "The doctors said the pregnancy was not viable and I should abort but we had our faith in God and he blessed us with an amazing child."   That child was a girl and her name is Emily, a delight to her mother.  She loves to cook with her and is a 4.0 student.   She placed 2nd in the State Fair Art Festival, 2nd out of 1, 352 entrants, an impressive accomplishment.   This is the person the doctors said wasn't viable, which means "capable of living; especially: having attained such form and development as to be normally capable  of surviving outside the mother's womb."  She not only survived; she excelled.  JR


                                       Pictures from Betania



     After the incident about Sarah seeing God in the picture of the Eucharist at the table, her grandmother had a chance to go to Betania, Venezuela, when someone paid her way.  While there on August 16th, 1994, she took some pictures, a few of which are shown here (all cropped for this site).  She was so moved, she was in tears as she photographed.  (The picture to the right is from negative no. 20, and the one directly below it is from negative no. 19.)



       The setting for the Host here is different from the setting  in the picture Sarah saw.  Here it's in a tabernacle; the other was apparently in a Monstrance.  

       We Catholics believe in what we call the Real Presence of the Eucharist.   While it outwardly appears as a wafer of white bread, we believe that the bread once Consecrated is the Body of Christ.  In Matthew 26:26-28, it says: And while they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed and broke, and gave it to his disciples, and said, "take and eat; this is my body."  and taking a cup, he gave thanks and gave it to them, saying "All of you drink of this; for  this is my blood of the new covenant which is being shed for many unto the forgiveness of sins.  We take Him at His word: "this is my body ...this is my blood".

 The bleeding Host of Betania occurred on Dec. 8th, 1991, during a midnight Mass.  The celebrant had Consecrated the the Host and broken it into four pieces.  He took one part to consume and placed the three other pieces on a plate.  When he looked down at the unconsumed Host, he saw a red substance "spurting," as if from a wound.  Later it was put in a monstrance where blood accumulated in the bottom.  Bishop Ricardo of Los Teques had it tested in Caracas, and was informed it was human blood.

    This picture is from negative no. 16, taken before the photos above.   Note that there seems to be more Host filling the circle and what appears to be an eye in the upper right.  You might even have the impression that  the eye is sad as it looks out at the world.





     This view is from negative no. 15,  taken in sequence just before the picture from negative no. 16 above.  The lady in the picture is weeping.

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