‘Feliz Navidad’ Singer José Feliciano Explains God’s Plan for His Life and His Pro-Life Conversion

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 11: José Feliciano performs at An Evening With José Feliciano at the GRAMMY Museum on February 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for The Recording Academy )
Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

“Feliz Navidad” singer José Feliciano celebrated 50 years of his hit Christmas classic, explained God’s goodness as well as his pro-life conversion in a recent interview, in which the singer said that he considered himself pro-choice until he heard his unborn daughter’s heartbeat.

“I used to be pro-abortion, many, many years ago. I would have called myself pro-choice. But then when I had my daughter Melissa, I went the other way — when I heard Melissa’s little heartbeat on the monitor, I said, ‘Well, wait a minute. Even if all there is is a heartbeat, that’s life, that’s life,'” said Feliciano in a recent interview with National Catholic Register.

The Puerto Rico-born crooner, who was born blind and immigrated to the United States as a youth, is a practicing Catholic. He said that he believes God had a special plan for his life.

“When I was first born, my father couldn’t face up to the fact that he had a son who was born blind,” said Feliciano. “In a sense he thought it was a defect from him, and people told him, ‘Hey, listen, don’t worry about him being blind. You don’t know what God has in store for him in the future” — truer words were never spoken!”

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“In a Latin family, more so than in an American family, being blind is like having the plague,” the seven-time Grammy-winner said. “By that, I mean my parents in the beginning thought there was no future for me, therefore, I couldn’t get around and do all of the things that parents think about.”

“And it seemed to me that before my parents read the Bible or did other things with me, God was pushing me into the music area,” said Feliciano. “God was showing me the light ever since I was born.”

Feliciano added that if he had been born with sight, he might not have been listening to God as a young kid, and therefore wouldn’t be where he is today.

“I think a kid really starts thinking for himself at the age of 4, and somehow at that age when I would hear my uncles playing music, it seemed that God was sending me a message, that he was steering me in that direction,” said Feliciano. “In one sense being blind helped because if I would have been sighted, I probably would have been playing stick ball in the streets and not listening to the message that God was giving me which was music all the time.”

Feliciano, who once said that “the greatest tragedy for many handicapped people is that they let others convince them that there are limits to what they can accomplish,” added that it is important for people with handicaps not to listen to those who tell them they cannot do something.

“I think we all have handicaps — physical, mental, emotional or from situations into which we are born but of which we have no control,” said Feliciano. “But we have to be careful not to listen to people who tell us that we can’t do this or that.”

“If you are stupid enough to let that really sink in, then it’s true,” he added. “You won’t be able to do anything. But I was always a rebel.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler at @alana, and on Instagram.

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