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It was December 24th

By: Fr. Jerry Gaurvreau

It was Dec. 24th around 2 o'clock in the afternoon. I noticed that it had been getting somewhat quiet around the hospital. I was thinking that there were not a lot of appointments or surgeries booked on the 24th.

I was going to be in the hospital for a few more hours. As I wandered down the almost empty main hallway of the hospital, an elderly gentleman stopped me and asked if I was the Catholic priest. I told him that I was and introduced myself.  He asked me to pray for his wife who was extremely ill. I assured him that I would, and I asked him where he was going. He told me that he was going home for the night. I asked him if he would take me to visit his wife before he left, as I should anoint her. He replied that he could take me to visit her.

"We both went back up to her room and there I prayed and anointed his wife with the Holy Oils (Sacrament of the Sick). He thanked me and prepared to go home for the night. I continued on with a few more afternoon patient visits before I too would leave for the night."

December 25th came and went. When I returned to the hospital a couple of days later I had found out that this gentleman's wife had died on Christmas Day. Wow! All I could think about for the rest of the day was this elderly gentleman losing his wife on Christmas Day.

A few weeks passed by. Around the middle of January I received a message that a gentleman wanted to meet me in the chapel.  As I entered the chapel I recognized immediately that it was the gentleman who lost his wife on Christmas Day. Through his tears, he said he just wanted to thank me for what I did for him and his wife back on Dec. 24th.  

Every Christmas since, I think of him and wonder how he's doing. I say a little prayer for him that the Christ Child, the Prince of Peace, will give him the strength to carry on and fill his heart with Christmas Love and Christmas Peace. +