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June 16, 2024

From Zurich, Switzerland: It looks like the devil doesn't want Pedro’s biography to arrive... Let's see if Pedro can work a miracle

I thought about a present I could give him for the occasion and that a good idea would be a book about an exemplary young Christian of the 21st century. As the boy has Italian roots, I assumed that he already knew Carlo Acutis. So I thought of Jorge Boronat's book on Pedro Ballester, whom he probably didn't know.
I first found the book in Italian on the internet on 22 May, but it was listed as unavailable everywhere. Through contacts, I made enquiries in Italy, but a person involved in this field told me he didn't know anything about it. As the boy is French-speaking. I asked a friend from Opus Dei in Paris if the book existed and he told me that, as far as he knew, it didn't. So, with little hope, I looked on the internet to see if the book existed in French. First of all, I found the same thing as in Italian: an indication of the book in French, but with the precision ‘indisponible’. I found it strange that the book appeared on Amazon, but couldn't be bought.
So I kept looking, and suddenly I found a link where you could buy the book! I was delighted and immediately clicked and paid. But then, it was only an electronic version. Of course, he could read it on his mobile, so I could offer him this link with the date of 8 June. However, I thought it would be nicer to give him the book in printed form on the day! But did the book exist on paper?
It was 28 May. On my digital version, I noticed that the edition was Congolese. I immediately asked for a contact person in Kinshasa. He referred me to an Opus Dei priest in Congo, from Valencia (Spain). After an hour, he told me that the French book had indeed been printed! And that his brother in Valencia could send me a few copies!
What a joy! So I contacted his brother. There were only ten days left for confirmation, so I asked him to send the package by express courier. I paid him immediately, and he proceeded to send it. He sent me the code for tracking the package, which I couldn't open. But the two brothers tracked it for me.
On 30 May, there was a nasty surprise! The transport company informed me that there had been a mixup, the books I'd ordered hadn't been sent, and I would receive a wrong parcel.. On Monday 3 June, the Valencian once again sent an express parcel to my address with the books. There were only five days left, and I was still hoping that the book would arrive in time!
On Wednesday evening, I received a message. It was a shock! The books had been held up at customs! I had to send another set of data. I did it that very night. But how many days would it take for customs to release the parcel? The priest in Kinshasa said to me, ‘It looks like the devil doesn't want it to arrive’... I replied, ‘Let's see if Pedro can work a miracle’, and he replied, ‘That's what I thought.’
It became almost impossible. I told myself that customs might require other formalities, consider the sending as a commercial activity, or whatever. I say to myself: the only solution is to pray through Pedro's intercession! So I did, with confidence, even though, purely humanly speaking, I no longer thought it possible.
On Friday morning, 7 June, I asked the Valencian if there had been any news. He said no. But that I would probably receive the wrong parcel first, and I had to refuse it. It's only an orange packet that I had to accept.
At lunchtime, I was having a business lunch and suddenly my phone rang. It was disturbing at the time, and I don't usually answer unfamiliar numbers. However, after a moment's hesitation I felt an ‘Go ahead. Answer it.’ I answered and it was the express service at my door, delivering a parcel. I asked what colour the parcel was and he replied... ‘Orange’!
Pedro's favour was obvious to me. And on 8 June, my confirmand was delighted to receive the book. ‘I have never been happier’!
FG (Zurich, Switzerland)
9 June 2024

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