Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Wednesday 04 August |
Saint of the Day: St. John Vianney
home iconInspiring Stories
line break icon

First responder (who was once a seminarian) baptizes dying baby and she revives

Bomberos Ciudad del Este | Facebook | Fair Use

Aleteia - published on 11/08/19

When ordinary attempts to resuscitate her failed, an ex-seminarian volunteer fireman baptized her, and she began to cry.

On October 24, In Ciudad del Este, a city in Paraguay, first responders received a phone call about a one-month-old baby in distress. The ambulance that arrived to help was manned by a team of three volunteer firemen (in addition to the driver), including Jorge Corvalan, who, coincidentally, had been a seminarian.

Corvalan told Aleteia that when they arrived, the infant was in the arms of her mother, a 13-year-old girl of indigenous origin who was begging on the streets. The infant’s life signs were almost imperceptible.

“The little baby was between life and death. We put her in the ambulance and took her to the city’s trauma center. On the way, we tried to resuscitate her, but we had no success,” Corvalan explained.

When they arrived at the hospital, the fireman asked a nurse to bring him water so he could baptize the baby.

“In case of emergency, anyone can baptize. I figured it was time to place the child in God’s hands, so that’s what I did,” Corvalan said.

The fireman said that after saying the words of the sacrament, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” the infant began to recover her vital signs. As the Facebook page for the city’s firemen puts it, “The baby miraculously and incredibly reacted before our eyes.” Corvalan told Aleteia, “When I put her back on the stretcher, she cried. It’s a very encouraging sign in these cases.” She was immediately admitted to the Pediatric Emergency Ward of the hospital.

Corvalan returned hours later to the pediatric wing of the hospital, where the doctors told him that the baby’s health was improving. Whether or not it was technically a miracle, Corvalan and his colleagues were God’s collaborators in saving the life of that baby.

The post on the firemen’s Facebook page concludes: “Maybe it’s very hard to believe, or it was just chance, but what we’re sure and thrilled about is that today a little child from our city is part of one of the most moving and emotive stories of our institution!”


Read more:
Choosing life: A portrait of strength, courage and hope

The Baptism of Christ

Read more:
How was baptism practiced in the early Church?

Inspiring storiesSacraments
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Saint Mary of the Angels
Bret Thoman, OFS
All your sins will be forgiven if you go to a Franciscan church o...
Ignacio María Doñoro
Francisco Veneto
The military chaplain who pretended to be a criminal to rescue a ...
Violeta Tejera
Carlo Acutis’ first stained glass window in jeans and sneak...
Theresa Civantos Barber
The one thing we all should do before this summer ends
Philip Kosloski
Most priests can’t absolve these sins
Ary Waldir Ramos Diaz
1st Feast of Our Lady of Silence is August 1
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.