At least two thousand people gathered at All Saints Catholic Church in Mesa to attend a special healing mass Thursday. The mass was officiated by Father Fernando Suarez, a well-known Catholic priest from the Philippines who says he has been given the gift of healing.
"This is my job or my vocation is to go all over the world and do healing mass," said Suarez.
Suarez says he realized he was given the power to help people when he was 16. He says he was leaving church after high school and saw an elderly handicapped woman.
"I approached her and I asked her what happened and she said, 'I've been paralyzed for 40 years,'" he recalled.
"For some reason, I asked if she wanted prayer; something that I never did before, and she nodded her head. I closed my eyes, made the sign of the cross, prayed Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be. All of a sudden, she stood up and walked. My first reaction (was that) I freaked out. I got scared, and I told my parents if there is a woman knocking on our door telling you I healed her, please don't listen to her. She's crazy. That was my first reaction to this gift," he continued.
It wasn't until 20 years later that Fr. Suarez was ordained a priest. He's been traveling the world ever since praying with thousands that gather to hear him speak.
Lola Daniels attended Thursday's mass. She said she regained her hearing after being blessed by Suarez.
"I've been having trouble hearing for over a year, and thanks be to God I can hear again," she stated.
Suarez says his gift is just that -- a gift-- and those that feel better should thank God.
"This kind of gift, is not the very center of myself. This is totally God doing this type of work. I'm just being an instrument. I'm just being a conduit for it," he said.
Father Suarez will hold another healing service Friday night November 8th at the St. Augustine Catholic Church. Mass begins at 6 p.m. at 3630 N. 71st Avenue in Phoenix.
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