GOSSIP GIRL: Remembering healing priest Fr. Suarez
This picture was taken by Fr. Fernando Suarez’s friend Jimmy Virtucio at the Alabang Country Club minutes before the healing priest collapsed Feb 4. from a massive heart attack that took his life. He would have turned 53, four days later on Feb. 7.
It was healing priest Fr. Joey Faller who broke the news to me while we were discussing his Lenten talk. I was shocked hearing about it because I was just talking to him hours before he died.
We all know, though, that Father Do died in peace —“kaka-abswelto lang niya last month,” Jimmy tells me during the wake—as the Vatican had just exonerated the healing priest from charges of committing sexual abuse to minors.
Jimmy was healed twice by Fr. Suarez over the phone as the former was in New Jersey then while the latter was in the Philippines. The first healing was for a heart enlargement and the second was for prostate cancer.
I, too, was blessed with Suarez’ healing hand. At the time, Piolo Pascual and I were in Rome for a concert and, good thing, Fr. Suarez was based in the Vatican then. I had a piercing pain in my lower back from all the travel I did around Europe so even if I did not know him, I went to his office.
(From left): Father Suarez, my husband Emil Buencamino who got healed by him, my daughter Lia Buencamino, and the author
Upon entering his room, my back pain disappeared! Fr. Suarez knew right away what had happened and he told me quite mystically, “You’re healed! I do not know you and you do not know me, but God wants us to meet for a mission in the future. I will be in Manila but I will be busy healing. But we will meet again and we will do something for the Lord.”
Later, I would heat about his healing masses. Once, I heard one of his Masses but when I tried to come near him, he just said hello with his hands. I thought he had forgotten about until I got a call from him meaning he did remember who I am and that he even kept my number.
That was the start of our mission. Whenever he would bring me to big gatherings of people to do praise and worships, he’d always tell everyone, “I am not a healer. It is Jesus Christ (who heals). And Jesus is always present in big gatherings like this because your faith brings him here. It’s your faith that gives you healing.”
I personally witnessed many times how the Lord through Father Suarez healed people. Not many know this, but Father Suarez had even gone to India numerous times to heal the sick and help the poor there. Aside from his gift of healing, God has granted him the grace of having unconditional love and compassion for others.
It’s this compassion that paved the way for his very first healing. It happened in Quiapo when he was just 16 years old. There was a crippled old lady and after he prayed over her, she got up and started to walk. Throughout his life, Fr. Suarez became instrumental into making the mute talk, the deaf hear, the crippled walk, the dying restored to health, etc. All these have been documented by MMMP or the Missionaries of Mother Mary of the Poor.
Now that he’s gone, I can only pray that he becomes a Saint. At his funeral, I felt his energy when I touched the glass of his coffin so I know Fr. Suarez will continue to heal those who pray for his intercession.
(Fr. Suarez would have joined Fr. Faller for a Lenten recollection and healing session at Oasis of Love on March 29, 2020. Join us from 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon)