SAN ANTONIO - In a time when the San Antonio Police Department needs more prayer than ever after losing two officers in a span of seven months, Paige Vasquez, 8, is doing her part by using the power of prayer.
“It’s just because I believe in God, and that you can pray for anyone, especially your local police officers,” Paige said. “You never know when someone is having a bad day.”
In a viral photo shared to Facebook last Wednesday, Paige is seen praying with eight SAPD officers at a Luby’s near downtown San Antonio.
Paige said she was with her grandma, Martha Bosquez, when she saw the officers eating dinner together at the table next to them and asked Bosquez if she could go up to them to pray for them.
“I felt like I really needed to do that, because I felt like they really needed it,” Paige said. “The (officers) told me thank you, and that they really appreciated (the prayer).”
Paige’s mother, Kat Garcia, said this is not the first time her daughter has prayed for local law enforcement and others who she feels need it the most.
Garcia said her daughter gets her religious beliefs from Paige’s grandparents and her 95-year-old great grandma who prays with her during visits at the nursing home she lives at.
“We’ve been to Chick-Fil-a, where she’s gone and said a prayer for a police officer waiting for her order. We’ve gone to the emergency room with (Paige), and she’s over here, sick, and she’s praying over the doctor that’s helping her,” Garcia said. “So, when she did this, and when my mom posted it, it didn’t surprise me.”
Paige’s trip to the emergency room was a scare for Garcia, learning her daughter suffered from celiac disease -- a gluten-allergy -- after her daughter was complaining of stomach pains.
But through prayer, more so for the doctors and less for her, Garcia said Paige is stronger than ever with God leading the way for her.
Garcia said her 8-year-old daughter wants to help others and also become a singer when she grows up.
Until then, Paige is going to continue praying for others much like she did when she met fallen SAPD Officer Miguel Moreno two months before he was laid to rest.
On May 1, 2017, Garcia captured a photo and video of Moreno with her two daughters and nephew but didn’t realize it was Moreno until KSAT.com informed her Tuesday during an interview that it was the fallen SAPD officer.
(WATCH: Digital Journalist Adrian Garcia talks about his interview with Paige and her mother on Wednesday's GMSA at 9 a.m. newscast)
Garcia said she remembers the day she met Moreno, referring to him as a “good police officer” who seemed to love and cherish the moments with the community.
“(Moreno) was driving down and, I guess, making his rounds, kind of, checking up on the block. And he saw the kids, and the kids were jumping up and down, and they were waving to him, and he actually stopped,” Garcia said. “(Paige) said a little prayer for him to be safe and then he was just standing there playing with the kids.”
Moreno, a nine-year SAPD veteran, was assigned to SAPD’s Central substation and worked the Central Patrol B Shift.
After realizing her daughter met @SATXPolice Officer Miguel Moreno, Kat Garcia shared this video⬇️. STORY➡️https://t.co/X4QJ0rW0uN #KSATnews pic.twitter.com/qDklZMTNqA — Adrian Garcia (@KSATadrian) July 12, 2017
Shortly after sharing Paige’s interaction with Moreno on KSAT.com, comments were posted to Facebook with one viewer saying, “Sometimes children are adults' best teachers.”
Other comments shared a similar theme of calling her “a sweet little girl” and “love how she prays for our important men and women in Blue. God bless her.”
Unaware she had shared a prayer with SAPD officers at the Luby’s two days before their brother in blue was to be laid to rest, Paige said Moreno was “very cool” and enjoyed playing “ball” with him.
“It’s not every day you get to meet a real police officer,” Paige said. “I told him just to be safe because you can never have too much prayer in your life.”
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