I regularly read the prayer petitions that come in on the monitor at St. Anthony Shrine where I live. In a two-week period, just before Christmas, I was captivated by several requests for prayers for little boys with cancer.
Henry (3) had kidney cancer. Zach (6) and Michael (7) both have cancer. Gabriel (7) fell off a cliff in England and sustained a concussion, multiple broken bones and terrible lacerations. I’ve been praying for them and their young parents consistently since I read about them. I wondered how they are doing. Since I know one of the relatives of Henry, I called her.
My friend Mary Ann told me that Henry had his kidney removed and is recovering quite well. No sign of cancer at present. When the hospital staff was wheeling him in for surgery, he said, “I’m sorry! I’m sorry I was bad!”
He thought he was being punished in the hospital and it just tore up his twenty-something parents. They love Henry dearly and want him to know that he is sick and not bad. Mary Ann tells me that he is the sweetest little boy who has a way of brightening up everyone around him when he enters the room. He even shows off his scar.
In their prayers I can hear the worry, fear, and desperation of the parents of these boys. I continue to pray for them. I think it’s important for these young parents to know that there is a solid prayer community behind them supporting them and praying for their little boys.
To visit the Shrine of St. Anthony and enter your own prayer petition, click here.
Frank Jasper, OFM, the author of this blog, is a Franciscan Friar in Cincinnati, Ohio.