Barretos – Sao Paulo, Brazil (Monday, 06/01/2015, Gaudium Press) Every child has his own dreams. Some prefer to be superheroes to fight evil forces; others wish to choose a profession, such as being a doctor, engineer or architect. But Rafael has a different dream, quite unusual at his age: to become a priest.
Rafael Freitas, who is only three years old, suffers from cancer for the last 10 months at the Barretos Cancer Hospital, in the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and he likes to attend Mass every day in the hospital’s chapel.
He has been diagnosed with neuroblastoma, meaning that he has a malignant tumor that develops in the nerve tissue of the adrenal glands.
Nevertheless, Rafael knows that, like a superhero, he needs to fight against evil. In his room he has a sort of an altar where he enacts the “moment of communion” dressed with a garment similar as the one the priest uses for Mass. He dreams of being a priest and one day, who knows, to celebrate Mass in the Sistine Chapel.
Rafael’s mother, Patriana Silva Freitas, said that already when he was two years old his entertainment was to “celebrate Mass” at home. “His father and I we are ministers of the Eucharist. He always came with us to Mass and he paid attention in everything remembering by heart what the priest would say” she said.
At the hospital he met Father Sergio, the priest who celebrates Mass at the hospital’s chapel. Fr. Sergio offered him a robe, and some other objects that are used for Mass, making Rafael very happy.
“He is a miracle. He fights for his life. We gave him the name of Rafael, in reference to the angel of healing. He is a gift from God and God willing he will recover and give us much joy” the mother said. (LMI)
From the Editor’s Desk at Gaudium Press with information from the Barretos Cancer Hospital