Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Monday 27 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Vincent de Paul
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

He didn’t want any COVID-19 patient to be without a Bible

HOSPITAL

Kzenon | Shutterstock

Aleteia - published on 06/11/20

Businessman gives back to his community by bringing spiritual aid to the sick.

COVID-19 has changed all of our lives. We or a loved one may have been sick, or we may know someone who’s died, not to mention the social and financial consequences of social distancing. Loss, sadness, suffering, and grief fill headlines and newscasts.

But in the midst of all this hardship there are also points of light: people who are restoring hope. Not only health care workers, but also those “saints next door” who have decided to fight the virus with the remedy of kindness and generosity.

Andrés Alonso is 38 years old and has a small import business in Valencia, Spain. His company deals with various designers and manufacturers, and with selling products. He and his company have also been affected by COVID-19. To his great surprise, however, instead of destroying his company, the situation has made business boom.

In the midst of “the tumult of the pandemic,” sales of his company’s fitness line skyrocketed: “In March, home-bound people seemed to want to do nothing but exercise. Product sales grew significantly.” It was a stroke of luck, unlike the experience of so many, who have been left without work or have had to close their businesses temporarily or even permanently.

Realizing his good fortune, Andrés asked himself, “How can I give this back to the Lord? What can we do to help? Why don’t I try to buy masks, or try to make some kind of donation of useful supplies to a hospital?”

NINGUN PACIENTE SIN BIBLIA
Gentileza

The difficult reality

At this point, he ran up against the sad situation that the coronavirus has created in Spain. He contacted several hospitals, but they were not able to accept donations of materials at that point, and lockdown was just beginning, which made everything more complicated. But he wanted to help, so he didn’t give up.

Then came his moment of inspiration: “I was reading a very good article by an Italian chaplain. He told how he brought his Bible to the hospital, and how many sick people liked to have the Gospel read to them. So I said, why not send Bibles to hospitals?”

Andrés had learned that “the sick people went without anything, with nothing but what they were wearing, and their relatives couldn’t visit them … So I said: Let’s send Bibles to the sick people.”

He got to work collecting the contact information of various hospital chaplains. His idea was that everyone who requests it can have a Bible in their room.

“At first I bought 100 Bibles, and I saw that the demand was very high …” The Bibles were all distributed quickly, so he bought another 120, but that wasn’t enough either.

“The same thing happened. I saw that there was a great demand and that we needed a lot of Bibles. I was working overtime, with people on sick leave, and I saw that I was getting overwhelmed. I needed help contacting people. Distributing them is easy for my company but I needed a hand—on a financial level, too.”

A work of solidarity

Andrés is an Opus Dei supernumerary, so he turned to his fellow Opus Dei members to spread the word: “While talking to my director we decided to discuss it in the group and it was very well received. Four or five people started helping out and we created a very cool PDF to spread around using messaging apps, asking for small donations.”

And thus, “No patient without a Bible” was born. The Spanish cities of Barcelona, Alicante, Cuenca, and even an improvised hospital in a library in Madrid have received the Gospels. The enormously positive response has been a surprise:

“People are very grateful! For example, many patients were waiting for them almost as if they were holy water. It has not been easy with the state of emergency. We’ve been buying Bibles as we go, as much as we can. There’s been much more demand than we’ve been able to serve.”

The market conditions and the laws in Spain have made it very difficult for the Bibles to reach their destination. Nonetheless, Andrés is satisfied with the work done: “They weren’t respirators, but for many people they were a spiritual oxygen tank. I’m sure that many people were grateful to be able to take refuge in the Gospel.”

Javier Gonzalez Garcia




Read more:
5 Bible passages that can help us in times of difficulty


ANDRES ESTEBAN LOPEZ RUIZ

Read more:
Priest gets permission to pray with the dying in the largest hospital in Latin America

Tags:
Coronavirus
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 Aleteia.org 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
1
The Sinai Peninsula and the Dead Sea Rift
J-P Mauro
Experts now believe Sodom was destroyed by a meteor
2
VATICAN LEGOS
J-P Mauro
Chicago architect models Vatican City from 67,000 LEGO bricks
3
Giovanna Binci
He’s autistic, she has Down syndrome, and they’re wonderfully hap...
4
Fr. Michael Rennier
The purpose of life according to J.R.R. Tolkien
5
PADRE PIO
Bret Thoman, OFS
Exclusive photos: Meet Padre Pio and the place he lived
6
crisis man
Marzena Devoud
Advice from 3 monks for overcoming acedia
7
Christ and the woman taken in adultery
Daniel Esparza
What Jesus wrote
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.