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“We have some exciting news,” said President Stephen D. Minnis to a record crowd at the Scholarship Ball on February 29. “Just two weeks ago Sophie took an oath of allegiance to the United States and officially became a U.S. citizen!”
The event was the fundraising dinner for Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, and Sophie Hernandez was one of several students whose stories the evening highlighted. It was quite a change for the young woman whose family was from Aguascalientes, Mexico.
“I wasn’t even supposed to be born,” Sophie said about her own story.
She describes the complications that set in before her birth and how her mother started a novena to Our Lady, Help of Christians that saved her — but she wasn’t out of the woods yet.
“My mom always said my every day was a chance and every day was like, ‘Okay this might be her last day as a baby’,” she said. “’Thank you, God, for this day.’”
She had eight surgeries before she was 7. She still needed a kidney transplant, so the family moved to America, and prayed to Our Lady, Help of Christians. She got her answer on May 24, the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians.
She was so inspired by her nurse, that she decided to study nursing.
“Throughout my high school senior year I really searched for Catholic colleges and I happened to stumble on Benedictine,” she said. “I visited and I knew right away that this is the place that God had planned for me to come and study the major I have had in my mind to study for so long.”
Benedictine College was founded after Father Henry Lemke attributed his own survival to Our Lady, Help of Christians.
Watch her tell her story above or click here to see it on YouTube.