During this night, I experienced tears of joy. A pregnant woman, who had received an extremely disheartening diagnosis from her doctor six months ago, reached out to me. The prognosis stated that her child would face health challenges, be born with Down syndrome, potentially without legs, and have an unhappy childhood. Abortion was presented as a solution, and her husband advised her to terminate the pregnancy.
However, she found no peace in such a decision and sought my guidance, firmly convinced that the situation wasn’t as bleak as it appeared. In her womb, a little heart beat, a cherished prayer answered after years of longing. How could she consider ending its precious life?
As a priest, the burden of providing advice in such circumstances is unimaginable. I contemplated and suggested that we engage in daily prayers, recite the Akathist to the Mother of God as the Healer and St. Paraskeva, and on Wednesdays and Fridays, say the Paraklesis.
In her own home, she faces the pressure exerted by her husband, yet she stands determined to fiercely fight for the life of her unborn child. I counsel her to trust her instincts and find solace in prayer. I make a point to mention her in every Liturgy, seeking divine intervention.
She has not attended any prenatal check-ups until her water breaks, leading to an urgent trip to the hospital for delivery. The attending doctor requests her medical records and freezes upon reviewing them. However, despite the circumstances, they proceed with the operation, convinced that the child will face lifelong challenges.
After enduring 7 hours of labor, she gives birth to a breathtakingly beautiful and perfectly healthy baby girl, defying all the medical predictions.
Tonight, she reaches out to me, urging me to convey a message to all the mothers in the world: that maternal instincts and prayer can achieve more than a multitude of medical tests and examinations. She faithfully adhered to the regular participation in the Holy Liturgy as I advised her, guided by the blessings of her spiritual father.
Praise be to God, the Theotokos, and the Venerable Paraskeva for the miracle that will forever carry her name.
Reverent Alexandru Lungu