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Thursday, Oct 02, 2014

Santorum: Marriage 'Saved My Life,' Inspired Faith in God

  • (Photo: REUTERS/Jason Cohn)
    Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (C) hands his daughter Isabella Maria (bottom) off to a family friend after she threw up on him as his wife Karen (L) was introducing him during a rally in Somerset, Pennsylvania June 6, 2011.
February 9, 2012|12:45 pm

After winning the GOP primary in three different states and rejuvenating his campaign, presidential candidate Rick Santorum confessed at a prayer meeting with 175 pastors at a Texas church Wednesday that the institution of marriage turned his whole life around. 

Despite his notable victories in Minnesota, Missouri, and Colorado the night before, the former Pennsylvania senator did not focus very much on his presidential campaign during the meeting at Bella Donna Chapel in McKinney, Texas. Instead, Santorum talked about what he credits as one of the main reasons behind his success – his faith, which he admitted had not always been very strong, The New York Times reported.

"Your prayers are the reason I am here and I encourage you and your congregations to continue to pray," Santorum revealed to the pastors, before admitting that religion was not always the most important thing in his life.

"It didn't motivate me; it wasn't the purpose of my life. I wasn't consumed by it," the GOP candidate, who is now a Roman Catholic, revealed.

What sparked a change in him was his marriage and the births of his eight children, he reportedly said. 

"Faith began to be part of our lives as we built our marriage," Santorum said of his relationship with his wife, Karen Santorum. "The institution of marriage saved my life."

The former Pennsylvania senator has experienced death and illness in his family, which he identified as some of the most difficult challenges he has had to overcome.

He lost one son, Gabriel, who died only a few hours after being born prematurely in 1996.

"He was born alive, way too small to survive. We had a couple of hours with him," Santorum explained, and added: [Gabriel's time on Earth was] "a life only to know love and then be with Our Father."

His young daughter, Isabella, who was born in 2008, has also been struggling with a serious illness, and Santorum had to cancel speaking appearances weeks ago to be by her side when she was admitted to a hospital with pneumonia in both of her lungs.

Isabella, or "Bella," as the family calls her, suffers from a rare and serious genetic disorder called Trisomy 18, which kills about 90 percent of affected children before or during birth.

"Bella can't do much in the eyes of the world, but she can love," Santorum reportedly told the group of pastors. "These children have a lot to teach us, yet we live in a world that wants to put them in the shadows."

"You can tell that he speaks directly from the heart," said Ted Leigh after the event, a pastor at Glory of Zion International Ministries in Corinth. "I would absolutely vote for him."

While Romney remains in the pole position in the GOP race, key evangelical and conservative Christian leaders have largely given their backing and endorsed Santorum for the Republican presidential nomination.

Back in January, at a meeting in Texas involving such leaders as James Dobson and Gary Bauer, Santorum achieved what was described as a "landslide majority" victory in a poll taken among the Christian leaders over whom they would support for president.

Santorum is seen as the most socially conservative of the GOP candidates, due to his strong family values, opposition to same-sex marriage and pro-life stance. 

Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/santorum-marriage-saved-my-life-inspired-faith-in-god-69080/