More of Risa Bondoc’s story below.
Filipino girl’s cure supports cause for sainthood
By Josephine Darang
Last updated 00:13am (Mla time) 03/11/2007
MANILA, Philippines – The miraculous healing of Risa Bondoc of a serious ailment elevated the cause to sainthood of Blessed Marie Eugenie, founder of the Religious of the Assumption.
Blessed Marie will be canonized on June 3 at St. Peter’s Square in Rome.
Risa Bondoc, now 12 and a Grade IV student of Assumption College, will attend accompanied by her parents, Ditos and Menchu Bondoc, and her sisters, Ma. Regina Iguitan and Ma. Victoria Tabora.
When Risa, baptized Ma. Carmela Therese Eugenie, was 2 months old, she was brought to Dr. Manuel Hechanova, an eye doctor, because her mother noticed that she could not seem to focus. Risa was diagnosed with “nys stagmus,” a condition that affected muscles of the eyes. Dr. Manuel Delfin confirmed the finding.
At 6 months old, Risa was brought to Dr. Froilan Innocencio, a pediatric ophthalmologist. Tests showed weakness of the muscles of the eyes. This meant Risa would never be able to read fine print without very thick lenses. But Innocencio also said the problem might be coming from the brain.
Risa was brought to Dr. Myrna Fojas, a pediatric neurologist, who suggested magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain. Dr. Benjamin Adapon of the Makati Medical Center read the results. His wife, Dr. Ofelia Adapon, told Menchu to pray for a miracle.
Tests found abnormalities in the brain’s structure. When Menchu heard the news, she and her family started to pray the novena for the canonization of Mother Marie Eugenie. She made Risa wear the medal and relic of MME.
After two days, Menchu went to Fojas who told her to pray because only a miracle could make Risa normal. The doctor warned of seizures and convulsions. But none of these things happened.
The baby was brought later to Houston Children’s Hospital in Boston upon the suggestion of Dr. Evangeline Poblete, pediatrician of Menchu’s eldest daughter.
Risa was a year and 3 months old when she was first brought to Houston. Three doctors examined her but it was Dr. Carlos Rivera, a neurologist, who first diagnosed her ailment as “septo optic dysphasia.”
From Houston, Menchu brought her daughter to the Mother House of the Religious of the Assumption in Paris. In the presence of the Mother General, Mother Cristina Marie, and nuns, Menchu laid Risa on top of the tomb of Blessed Marie Eugenie and commended the girl’s cure to her.
Menchu said a vigil light was always lit at the tomb for Risa’s cure. Mother Cristina also placed Risa’s photo at the altar of their founder. In the provincial house in Manila, Sister Vicenta put Risa’s picture below Blessed Marie Eugenie’s.
Today, Risa is a normal, active and cheerful 12-year-old, to her doctors’ amazement. They call it a miracle. Those who wish to go to Rome for the canonization can text Menchu at 0918-9100956.
Mother Marie Euginie (Anne Euginie) is the foundress of the Religious of the Assumption, the group of nuns running my elementary alma mater. During our elementary days, we always celebrate her death anniversary every 10th of March. We usually have presentations about her life stories. Here’s a glimpse of her story: http://www.assumptionreligious.org/index.php?page=our-foundress