Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Saturday 15 May |
Saint of the Day: St. Isidore the Farmer
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

Mexican priest talks of “the loving presence of God” while fighting COVID-19


Paul Ratje | AFP

J-P Mauro - published on 05/24/20

Fr. Antonio Pérez Hernández continued to minister to the sick, even while he grappling with his own illness.

A priest from the Archdiocese of Tlanepantla, Mexico, has opened up about his time while hospitalized with COVID-19. Fr. Antonio Pérez Hernández told his story on a video on the archdiocesesan YouTube channel, where he explained that while harrowing, the ordeal brought him closer to his faith as he struggled to balance his recovery with performing his priestly ministry to other patients.

Catholic News Agency, which has translated quotes from the video with the help of their sister agency ACI Prensa, reports that Pérez shared a room with several other COVID-19 patients, whom he ministered to when his strength was with him. He said:

“When I was in that place, there came a time when I did feel like God could call me into his presence,” Pérez told ACI Prensa. “And that’s when you discover abandonment, the total abandonment of saying to the Lord: ‘Here I am, if you want to call me, I am willing; if you want to leave me, I am also willing. I only ask that you please give me the strength to give absolution and attend to my brothers who are suffering from the disease just like I am.’”

Father Hernández went on to explain that he heard confessions and granted absolution to those who asked for it, and he was present when several patients passed away. Through these dire conditions, however, he noted that the fearful atmosphere of the hospital distinctly changed to one of hope and peace, a pivot that he credits to prayer.

He said that throughout his stint in the hospital he “felt the loving presence of God.” Fr. Antonio ended with a call for the faithful to place themselves in God’s hands:

“There comes a time when you only have your hospital gown, you have nothing,” he said, but at that moment “you experience that abandonment of saying to the Lord: ‘Lord, I have you. What more do I want if I have you?’”

Read the full story at Catholic News Agency.

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
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
Philip Kosloski
Ascension vs. assumption: What is the difference?
Philip Kosloski
What happened between the resurrection and ascension of Jesus?
I.Media for Aleteia
These 30 shrines will lead the Rosary Relay for end of the pandem...
J-P Mauro
We need better church music, say Catholics in the Philippines
Philip Kosloski
What was the message of Our Lady of Fatima?
Larry Peterson
Benedict XVI called him “one of the most unusual saintsR...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.