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Rizal's Son Dies
By the beginning of 1896, Rizal was very happy. His beloved Josephine was heavy with child. Within a few months, she would give birth to a child. As an expectant father, Rizal had every reason to be cheerful and gay.

"I wish it would be a boy," he told Josephine.

"I also have the same wish," she replied.

"Let us hope and pray," said Rizal, " that it will be a boy. I will name him after my father."

"Suppose," asked Josephine in joking manner, "that it will be a girl?"

"Then, I will name her after my mother."

Unfortunately, Rizal and Josephine were not destined to have a child. One day in early March 1896, Rizal played a practical joke on Josephine, which frightened her terribly. As a result of her great fright, she gave birth prematurely to an eight-month baby boy.

The baby was very weak and was gasping for breath. Seeing the baby’s condition, Rizal immediately baptized him Francisco in honor of his father. He did everything he could to save the life of his infant son, but in vain. All his knowledge and skill as a physician could not save little Francisco. Sorrowfully, Rizal saw his child die three hours after birth.

With a heavy heart, he drew a sketch of his dead son. Then he buried him under a shady tree near his home. He prayed": "Oh, God, I give you another tiny angel. Please bless his soul."

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