Devotion to the Blessed Virgin on the Front Line

Al Cardenas MD, KM

During this time of the Corona-19 virus and, like many of our members in the medical field, I am on the front line as director of Emergency Services at Navarro Regional Hospital in Corsicana, Texas. I have a devotion to Our Lady, the Virgin Mary that goes back to my youth, having first visited Lourdes on my 12th birthday in 1968. My second visit was in 1980 on the occasion of my parents’ 25th wedding anniversary. My most recent trip was with the annual Order of Malta pilgrimage in 2019.

As a common theme with this devotion to Our Lady, I always wear something blue. I wear a blue face mask at the hospital, carry a blue Rosary. My birthstone is a blue sapphire.

I attended Loyola High School, then Loyola Marymount University, and graduated from UCLA medical school in 1982. Since then, I have worked full-time in emergency medicine, beginning at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, California.

I married Susanne Duffy, RN, during my residency in 1987 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in San Pedro, California. We have three children: Andrea Marie, and Caroline Anne, both graduates of Ursuline Academy, and Alexander Alfonso, a graduate of Jesuit High School. We have one granddaughter, Madeline Marie. My parents just celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.

Every day at work, in addition to wearing a blue face mask, I pin an Order of Malta rosette on my white coat.