Sometimes when we can’t go to church, the Church comes to us, especially in times of illness.
One such recent case has gone viral — that of 14-year-old Paulo Eliadi Viana, who lives in southern Brazil, and who received the sacrament of Confirmation from his bishop in an unusual way.
Paulo, who is part of a very Catholic family, did all the preparation for the sacrament of Confirmation at the parish near where he lives, in Marilândia do Sul, in the southern Brazilian state of Paraná.
However, almost at the end of his preparation, the young man began to feel intense headaches. Precisely on the eve of the date scheduled for Confirmation in his parish, he had to be hospitalized.
The diagnosis came soon after: Paul had a brain tumor.
For the young man, the impact of the news came along with the disappointment of not being able to participate in the celebration of Confirmation at his church.
Paul’s mother Maria told the local press:
We’re very Catholic, and even with the pain he was in, he participated in all the preparation for Confirmation. It was something he wanted very much. In a conversation with a sister at the hospital, I told her that my son had missed Confirmation. The sister, moved, talked to the bishop, who agreed to go to the hospital, and the Confirmation took place on November 22.
Confirmation at the hospital
The local ordinary, Bishop Carlos José de Oliveira, went to the hospital to confer the sacrament on the young man. The celebration took place in the presence of the sponsor, family members, and the religious sisters who run the hospital.
In the chapel, a “little corner of the Holy Spirit” was set up, where the young man posed for pictures. It was a very moving moment of gratitude. His mother told the press:
It was very emotional. My son received his Confirmation, and the Bishop prayed for his cure. The sisters of the hospital prepared everything with great care. We were all so happy, and I thank the whole hospital staff and the Bishop for their tenderness with my son … He was very happy because of being confirmed, and we ask people for their prayers. Please, pray for our son to get better.
Because of the tumor, the young man has difficulty with speech and motor coordination. He was scheduled to undergo high-risk surgery in December, although we haven’t been able to find any news about his ongoing condition. Let’s keep him in our prayers!