Two years ago, he wouldn't even get a second glance much less a sense of name-recall recognition. Today mention the name of Fernando Suarez, and people from all walks of life go on a frenzy, screaming his name while frantically pushing their way towards him just to touch him.
Although he is a Filipino-Canadian immigrant based in Ottawa Canada, the name Fernando Suarez is unmistakably Filipino, a Batangueno who hails from Barrio Butong in Taal, Batangas. Today February 7, he turns 41 years and is at the prime of his youth in the service of God.
His boyish charm, strikingly good looks and charismatic warm smile are enough to make his followers scream like he was a movie-star; but his real claim to fame are his humility, sincerity and a kind heart. God has indeed chosen well in the person of Fernando Suarez to be His appointee to do his healing ministry.
Father Fernando for all his supernatural ability to heal, is ironically a natural, down-to-earth, warm and cheerful person devoid of any self-pride. He is so intimately people-friendly and accommodating that crowds gravitate and relate to him like they have known him as a long time friend.
One character that is his greatest asset to a fault is his simplicity and humility. Father Suarez strikes everyone as a good-natured and humble person that can be instinctively trusted and easy to confide to; thus everyone always wants to come close to him seeking miraculous favors.
Undeniably, the greatest character of Father Fernando is his humility. Thus, it isn't a surprise that the power to heal has been with him for almost 25 years now and that this gift hasn't gone into his head.
At age 16, for the simple boy that he is, he found it quite difficult to accept the gift of healing that was bestowed upon him by God. He discovered this ability by accident; as he prayed over a paralyzed woman whom he saw and took pity on her.
As he was praying over her, the woman suddenly started to walk and he was stunned by this incident. Without any clue of what is to come, he just kept this incident to himself and didn't discuss it with anyone.
But the gift of healing wasn't meant to be kept in secret, it was destined by God to be shared by Father Fernando for the benefit of those who needs it the most. They are the poor, the destitute and desperate who have lost all hope in life, and have no one to turn to for their physical needs.
Father Fernando clearly acknowledges in all his Homilies in the various Healing Masses that it is our Lord Jesus Christ who actually heals and that he is just an instrument to do His Will.
He elaborates the four specific ways by which Jesus heals: "The Lord heals by His Presence, His Touch, through His Word and by partaking of the Holy Eucharist. It is by your faith in Jesus that you are healed. When you come to Him, humbling oneself to ask for forgiveness and healing, God responds accordingly with great compassion and outpouring of Love."
Father Fernando further stresses that for healing to be complete, one must also receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist in a sinless state, free from sin. For total healing to be absolute, it must be whole and involve the person's physical and spiritual being.
Thus, he emphasizes the importance of regularly availing the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) as a pre-requisite to partaking of the Holy Eucharist. This explains why his healing rites are always preceded with a celebration of the Holy Mass. The gift of healing obtained after the Mass is a supernatural gift that comes from the Divine Healer Himself, Jesus Christ.
And what a supernatural gift it truly is. Modern day miracles such as making the crippled and lame walk, the blind regaining their sight, hopeless terminal cases of incurable diseases disappearing without even a slight medical trace left. There are even recent reports of the recent dead rising back to life.
Of course, these miraculous events are nothing new to Father Fernando. When asked for his reaction on how he felt when he sees his patients instantly being healed in front of him, he replies: "As I touch them, it all seems so natural; feeling nothing special within me, but as I see them get healed before me, I get stunned and deeply moved by the great love that the Lord has for His people."
Most of his patients don't exactly agree to this perception. Many claimed that as they touch him, they immediately felt an electrifying ground-like supernatural sensation warming throughout the entire area of their body most specially the parts that need healing. His touch is so sensitive and warm that it comforts the sick and desperate who comes from faraway places, desiring only to be touched by him as their strong faith brings about fulfillment of their healing requests.
In the latter part of his Healing Masses, Father Fernando prioritizes the critically-ill patients who are bed-ridden on make-shift stretchers debilitated with protruding air tubes from the nose attached to life-support oxygen tanks. Clearly their dismal state emphasizes the need to be prioritized as they desperately anchor on him their last hope for miraculous restoration.
Next in line are those unable to walk and are saddled on wheelchairs. Often, these wheelchairs are placed side-by side and all lined up together in two rows facing each other to facilitate individual healing rites performed on them by Father Fernando.
Routinely, he would hold both hands and lifting them up to encourage the patient to stand; as he guides them to walk independently on their own. Miraculously, they rise up to naturally walk with him as if nothing of their complications ever transpired. Thereafter, he gives the wheelchair to the patient who pulls it out of the aisle walking on their own.
Father Suarez is ably assisted by his fellow Canadian priest Father Jeff Shannon. Both of them belong to the Canadian Congregation of the Companions of the Cross. Many who were healed attests to the healing capabilities of Father Jeff and like Father Fernando, it is a common sight to see people falling unconsciously on their backs after being prayed over by them and "slained by the Holy Spirit".
Always busy but never tired, Fathers Fernando and Jeff are actually on an international healing mission. Over the years, their ministerial work entails extensive traveling to different parts of the world to share their healing gifts to as many as possible and proclaim the greatness of the Kingdom of God through these miraculous healings.
Recently Father Fernando has intimated his desire to permanently stay put in Batangas on the third quarter of 2008 to personally supervise the development of the MONTEMARIA Shrine. MONTEMARIA is a project of Mary Mother of the Poor Foundation (MMPF), an apostolic initiative led by Father Suarez. MMPF is an apostolic endeavor with the aim to "seek holiness in evangelizing and working with the poor through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary".
In one of his dreams, Father Suarez reveals of a plan to install a majestic statue of Mary, Mother of the Poor as tall as the Statue of Liberty that overlooks the horizon, like a beacon of light, a proclamation of love and faith, a steadfast companion and guide for the earthly traveler as he makes his way to God.
His comprehensive developmental plans for MONTEMARIA Oratory of the Blessed Virgin Mary include a Rosary Garden, a Way of the Cross, Eucharistic Adoration Chapel, St. Joseph Chapel, Divine Mercy Chapel, Columbarium and Retreat House that can serve as a way station for pilgrims, complete with board and lodging, restrooms, souvenir shops, conference rooms and bookstore.
A gargantuan feat to undertake for such a simple and humble man. But then God chooses His people very well that He gives them all the help they need. And this project is wholly endorsed by no less than His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales who acknowledges that Father Suarez with his exceptional qualifications is the person most capable of doing that job well.
As devotees of the Sacred Heart, Father Suarez intimately recalls that he was introduced by Cardinal Rosales to Hernando Vitas, a Batangueno businessman whose vision is to establish an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus similar to the one installed in Rio De Janeiro. After much frustration in searching for the right place, Cardinal Rosales then suggested to Hernando and Fernando the proposed Montemaria site as the perfect place to install the Sacred Heart Image.
"It was definitely Providential an Act of Divine Intervention; when you think about it, our Lord Jesus Christ surely wanted to be where His Blessed Mother Mary was to be installed in Montemaria Batangas so it was by His Design that we were introduced to one another!" was all that Hernando can attest to this Divine Plan.
Though plans for the completion of MONTEMARIA may average more than five years of construction, Fr. Suarez remains firmly committed in his objective. Sometime September, he prioritizes plans to conduct his healing ministry in a specific area within the Shrine to be constructed that is destined to become an international Global Healing Center and intended for tourism-related pilgrimage destination.
Already other miracles are simultaneously being reported such as the miraculous healing stones that can be gathered within the mountains and surrounding area of the proposed site. Father Suarez explains this event to be God's handiwork to help in raising the awareness of the people to the sacredness of MONTEMARIA.
Today as you add another eventful year to your fruitful life, may God bless, protect and guide you Father Fernando in all that you do. The Filipino people join hands in prayer to joyfully thank God in the name of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ for sending us a humble healer in your person that is Fernando Suarez.