As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy in Kingsville is calling attention to some local folklore that is connected to pharmacy history.
The pharmacy school is currently highlighting the work a popular curandero, or medicine healer, from Falfurrias who died more than 100 years ago. His gravesite is becoming somewhat of a religious shrine.
The College of Pharmacy said Don Pedro Jaramillo was a curandero, or folk medicine healer, who helped whoever he could without seeking money or recognition for it. The faith healing ministry all began after Don Pedro got injured while riding on a horse. He was knocked off the horse by a branch from a tree, and then fell to the ground, breaking his nose. He is then said to have healed himself with mud.
"He says that God came to him and told him, 'You will spend the rest of your life healing other people,'" said John Bowman of the College of Pharmacy. "And that's what he made his life's work."
Don Pedro reportedly often prescribed mud, water and local plants to treat people's sicknesses. At the site where Don Pedro is buried in Falfurrias, people come from all over to light candles, make requests and pray. There are photos and letters of people seeking healing and answers to prayer that adorn the walls of the building housing his grave.
One woman who drove from the Valley to pray said she has been going to the site for 20 years.
"When I was 25, I was living in Aransas Pass, and my life stopped," Yesenia Perez said. "It wasn't going very well because all the violence and all the situation that was going out there, and my mom came and prayed for me. My life turned around."
Don Pedro's great-granddaughter, Dolores Villarreal, is the caretaker of the site. She showed 3News a collection of testimonials from people who claim to have been miraculously healed through the power of prayer.
"They're very impressive," Villarreal said. "There's a lot of believers, and with that faith, I do believe they do get healed."
Don Pedro died 106 years ago, but through the power of belief, his life is still having an impact on many lives today.
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