Priest jumps into action to help woman deliver twin babies outside cathedral: ‘Surreal’

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A Catholic priest in Washington state jumped into action when he heard a woman’s cries for help outside a cathedral, helping her deliver twin baby boys and even reviving one of the newborns after a difficult birth.

“I’m having it now! I’m having it now!” the pregnant woman reportedly shouted outside of St. Paul Cathedral in Yakima in September, according to Catholic Extension, a nonprofit fundraising organization.

The Rev. Jesús Mariscal had left the rectory to buy doughnuts for an engaged couple ahead of a marriage preparation meeting, according to the report. He spotted a saw screaming in pain while standing near the statue of the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception outside the cathedral.

The woman, who was only identified as homeless, told the Mariscal that she was about to deliver her child, and the priest noticed blood at the woman’s feet, according to Catholic Extension.

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Catholic priest who delivered babies

The Rev. Jesús Mariscal in Yakima, Washington, helped deliver twin boys near the cathedral. (Catholic Extension)

“I need help! I’m having a baby,” she reportedly said.

Mariscal dialed 911 and put the call on speaker to follow the operator’s instructions on how to help the woman and her delivery. 

A baby boy was born just seconds later, but soon after the priest handed the child to his mother, she screamed that another baby was on the way.

Virgin Mary statue outside Catholic church

The Our Lady of Immaculate Conception statue is shown outside St. Paul Cathedral in Yakima, Washington. (Catholic Extension)

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The woman gave birth to her second son, but the baby was still in the amniotic sac, according to the report. The priest saw the baby moving around the sac and was instructed by the 911 operator to burst the sac and remove the child.

Mariscal broke the sac open with his hands, but the child was not responsive. The umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and he appeared not to be breathing. Following the 911 operator’s instructions, the priest turned the child on his side and tapped his back until the child erupted into cries.

“I am grateful for Fr. Jesús being there to help the mother and her children. We need to serve everyone,” Yakima Bishop Joseph J. Tyson said in a comment provided to Fox News Digital.

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The priest placed the second boy in his mother’s arms and rushed to get towels from the rectory before paramedics arrived, according to Catholic Extension.

Paramedics in Washington

First responders are shown helping a homeless woman who just gave birth to twin boys. (Catholic Extension)

“It was a surreal experience,” he said, according to the report. “It was like something from a movie.”

“I was there holding a baby with my bloody hands, and the baby was all bloody as well, and I’m dressed in clerics. And I’m a priest in front of the shrine of Our Lady. And I was thinking, ‘What is God trying to tell me? What are you trying to tell me, God? What is this about?’”

The babies were born premature, and the family was taken to a local hospital. They are now doing well and Mariscal visited the newborns and mother while they were in the hospital, according to the report.

Mariscal told Catholic Extension that he texted the engaged couple after the deliveries to apologize for being late to the meeting, but the couple thought it was a joke.

“I’m sorry I’m late for our appointment. I was just helping a lady deliver twins,” he wrote.

“LOL Father. You don’t have to lie,” the couple responded.

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Tyson said he hopes Mariscal’s story will shed light on Washington state’s pervasive homelessness issues. More than 25,000 people were considered homeless in a single night last January in the state, a 10% increase from a single night in 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Photo of homeless encampment in Seattle, Washington, as car drives by

Tyson said he hopes Mariscal’s story will shed light on Washington state’s pervasive homelessness issues. (Reuters / David Ryder / File)

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“My hope is that this situation also would raise awareness of the political and social conditions surrounding homelessness,” the bishop said. “As the Catholic Bishops of Washington State said in ‘Who is Our Neighbor,’ our 2017 pastoral letter on poverty,  ‘Acting as sisters and brothers to those who are poor and marginalized, we journey with them as they seek solutions to their problems, address their challenges and take their rightful place in our communities.’”

Mariscal went on to say that the newborns and their mother “are the protagonists of God’s love.”

“They and people like them on the peripheries of our own communities are the ones God is calling us to embrace with our service and love for our neighbors,” he told Catholic Extension.

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