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By Theresa Civantos Barber, Aleteia, March 27, 2021

For some women, this sacrament brings needed peace and healing.

At first glance, it might seem like a strange idea for a woman to receive the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick when she’s preparing to give birth. In fact, I probably would have been shocked if someone had suggested this to me during my first pregnancy.

“This sacrament is reserved for those who are seriously ill,” I would have said. “Pregnancy is not an illness. Birth is not a disease. Why on earth would I receive this sacrament before the perfectly natural, normal process of having a baby?”

Then I had my baby. It was an unexpectedly difficult birth that involved significant risk to both myself and my child. …

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