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Meet Froilan Morales

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By Terry Peloquin (Nov 28, 2018)
The following was first published in the Winter 2018-19 issue of Marian Helper magazine. View the digital edition or order a free copy:

A physical therapist from St. James, New York, Froilan Morales and his wife, Marife Morales, were not inspired on their first pilgrimage to the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy. They would later become annual visitors, bringing along as many others as possible. He explains why.

When did you discover the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy?
Almost 23 years ago, my wife and I were invited by a group of Filipinos from Queens to join a pilgrimage to the Shrine. We didn't know anything about the Divine Mercy then. It was freezing that day, and the bus was parked far away. On the way back home, when everybody was talking, my friend who had invited us asked me, "Would you like to share your experience of anything that happened to you in the Shrine?" I told him, "It's just like an ordinary day, but it's a very tiring one." There I am, actually complaining!

Did you have a special reason to go to the Shrine?
My wife and I had been praying for four years for a baby. Friends said that going to the Shrine would help. But a year passed by, and we still didn't have a baby.

Did that affect your faith?
The next year, my friend invited me again. I told my wife, "Let's not go." But, at the last minute, my wife and I looked at one other and then we said, "Why don't we follow the bus."

How did it go?
A month later, my wife was pregnant. My son was actually born the next year on the [Divine Mercy Sunday] feast day, which was April 22.

I hear you have a way of giving thanks for this.
Since then I promised we will bring people to the Shrine. I bring as many people and as many friends as I can for Mass every Easter Sunday. We started with two cars, and now there are 18.

Were there other favors and miracles?
Yes. About 10 years ago, my father, Florentino Morales, was diagnosed with sarcoma stomach cancer. The doctors said two months was the most that he could live. My wife and I drove all the way to the Shrine the day we found out. It was a Tuesday. I asked the Lord, "Just make my father better ... I will bring him here the next time that he comes to visit me here in America."

What happened?
My dad got better, but he was not able to travel. In the sixth year he got worse. He was in ICU, and then he was in a coma for almost three months. Doctors had to remove the whole stomach. He suffered. He was unable to walk. Last year, he was in ICU again. Doctors thought it was the end. So, I went to see him in the Philippines. I thought it was goodbye. Then, Daddy started to get better and better. And the next thing you know, he told us last May that he would like to come to the United States and visit us. I told him, "Is this for real? Is the Divine Mercy really trying to test me?" When he got here, he says, "You have to bring me to the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy."

And how did that go?
When Br. John Luth, MIC, saw us entering the Shrine in late September, he saw that Dad was trying to climb the stairs, so he scolded me, "Why did you take the stairs! Take the elevator! Don't let him suffer." And my dad says, "No. [God's] calling me. I'm going to be following Him."

How has your dad's faith developed?
After my dad was diagnosed, he told me, "I'm sorry I will not be able to give you an inheritance. I will just donate whatever money I have because I want to build a church." He's building a church in the Philippines, in Parian Calamba Laguna. It's almost half way done. Now, the Mass is being held on the second floor. My dad is so happy. He's trying to sell more of his land to be able to finish the church.
It's really a blessing, all that is happening to my dad right now.

The church in the Philippines is named for St. Augustine. Florentino plans to enshrine a Divine Mercy Image in it. A portion of Froilan's physical therapy work is for charity. He said, "It's the best I can do for God helping me and my family."

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Mary - Nov 28, 2018

Praise Jesus! His mercy endures forever.