A New Mexico midwife

24 11 2009

Jesusita relies on her saints for endurance, too – for strength at her elderly age to continue her work. She trusts them all…They aid her in all ways, every day. When she is attending a birth, she prays, “Santo NiƱo de Atocha, help her… help everything come okay, the baby okay and everything.” She says that no one knows that she is praying, but she prays fervently, trusting her heavenly helpers and putting her faith more in their powers than in her own. A nonbeliever, seeing pictures of saints in her home, told her once, “You don’t need those things. You don’t need those pictures.” Quietly, she replied, “Well, I don’t care. I believe in them.” Another curious patient asked why she had a picture of John F. Kennedy beside her saints. “Because he was a good man,” she said, “and I believe in him like I believe in my saints.”

– from Medicine Women, Curanderas, and Women Doctors