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Sunday, 13 October 2013

Church joins Pope Francis in entrusting the world to Mary

From the Website of CBCP

Church joins Pope Francis in entrusting the world to Mary

Filed under: Headlines |
MANILA, Oct. 12, 2013—The Philippine Catholic Church joins Pope Francis in solidarity as he entrusts the whole world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the Feast of the Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, October 13.
In a letter to the Holy Father, Archbishop Jose Palma, CBCP president, expressed the joy of receiving the news of the pope’s intention to “entrust the whole world to Our Lady of Fatima which is an Act of Filial Entrustment to the maternal care and protection of our Lady of Fatima, Queen of Peace.”

He recalled with the Holy Father the Philippines’ own National Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary last June 8 and said, “we thank you again for your message to us and your Apostolic Blessing on that occasion.”

Members of the CBCP Ad Hoc Committee of the National Consecration are currently in Rome to take part in the celebration and represent the Philippine Church: Bishop Guillermo Afable of Digos diocese, Fr. Yulito Ignacio, Ms. Victoria Borres of Marian Solidarity, Ambassador Merceditas Tuazon, Ms. Carmela Borres and Mrs. Josie Bantug.
The group gave to the Pope the original icon of “Puso ni Maria, Ina ng Bayang Sumisinta” during the General Audience on October 9 at St. Peter’s Square.

The icon—painted by Fr. Armand Tangi, SSP—was given to Pope Francis as a remembrance of the National Consecration and a sign of the Filipino Catholics’ unwavering love and unity with the pontiff.

On Sunday, the Holy Father will lead the faithful in St. Peter’s Square in entrusting the world to the Immaculate Heart as part of the Marian Day celebration of the Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima.

Hundreds of movements and institutions around the world that highlight Marian devotion are participating in the event.

It will be recalled that the pontificate of Pope Francis, upon his request, was consecrated by Cardinal Jose Polycarp, the Patriarch of Lisbon to Our Lady of Fatima on May 13, her feast day.

The original statue of Our Lady of Fatima from the Little Chapel of Apparitions in Portugal will be brought to Rome for the occasion on October 12 and will return to Portugal on the afternoon of October 13. (CBCPNews)


Marian devotion must lead faithful to Christ, prelate tells laity

Filed under: Headlines |
MANILA, Oct. 11, 2013—Responding to criticisms pertaining to the Filipino faithful’s deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mother, a Catholic bishop urged the laity to ground their Marian devotion in proper context by ensuring that it leads them closer to Christ.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said that deep devotion to the Madonna must not solely focus on the Blessed Mother. Rather, it must be used as a means to get to know Christ in a deeper perspective.

“The devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary should be understood in a proper way. There are a lot of devotees of the Blessed Mother but sad to say, the devotion of many is either very shallow or altogether not proper,” Pabillo said in his talk during the Marian Conference held last Saturday at the San Carlos Seminary.

“Sometimes there is an over expression of the people’s devotion that those who are not very much acquainted with (it) gets confused,” he added.

He also reminded Marian devotees that the right kind of devotion to the Madonna is not through worshipping her, but through giving her proper veneration.

“Let us not believe the criticism of others that we are worshipping Mary. We venerate and give praise to her. Those are different things because it is only the Lord that we worship,” Pabillo said.

“We praise Mary because she was chosen by the Lord to be the mother of His son…She was greeted by the angels and respected by the apostles. We are just continuing the same kind of veneration,” he added.

Manifestations of devotion 

While popular expressions of Marian devotion such as the praying of the rosary and joining various Marian congregations are widely accepted, Pabillo said it is only through listening to her call that the faithful may express true devotion to the Madonna.

“We should not only think of what we want to do. Rather, we must also consider what the Blessed Virgin Mother wants to do to us…She will accompany us in our prayers so pray to her with devotion and great trust and she will hear you,” he said.

According to Pabillo, proper Marian devotion may be manifested in three ways—asking for her intercession in prayers, listening to her teachings, and imitating her ways.

“If Mary wants to pray for us then let us ask her help in our prayers. Let us not be hesitant in calling the Blessed Virgin Mother for she loves and cares for us,” he said.

“Mary is the closest to Christ. The more we are like her, the closer we will be to Christ…If we will follow her teachings and imitate her, then we will know her better (through) examples and words,” Pabillo added.

‘Do whatever He tells you’ 

In bringing people closer to Christ, Pabillo said that part of Mary’s actions is to prepare the people in receiving the blessing to be bestowed by the Lord upon them.

“It is not enough to tell the people to pray and ask from the Lord. They also have to be prepared for whatever it is that the Lord will give to them,” he said.

Pabillo added that being unprepared to receive blessings coming from the Divine is among the reasons why people fail to get what they are asking for.

“Many times, we do not receive what God is willing to give because we are not ready. We blame God, asking why He doesn’t answer our prayers,” he said.

“But God is not an unwilling God. He is a loving father and He is willing to give more than what we are asking for. But the problem is, are we ready to accept what He is willing to give?” he added.

According to Him, it is only through emptying oneself that the faithful may fully receive blessings coming from the Lord.

“Many times, it is we who are not willing to accept. Our hands are very small because we are holding on to something else. We have to let go in order for us to receive what God can give us,” he said.

Not a hindrance 

The prelate also noted the interconnection of devotion to the Blessed Mother and to Christ, noting that the former does not serve as a hindrance for the actualization of the latter.

He gave this remark in light of criticisms noting that devotion to the Blessed Mother lessens one’s love and devotion to the Lord.

“Mary is not a hindrance to coming to Jesus. In fact, she promotes it. Real devotion to Mary makes us closer to Jesus because this is her will, this is her command—to do whatever Jesus tells us,” he said.

“Mary is not a competitor to our devotion and love for Jesus. And this is a good test on whether our devotion to Mary is real or not—does it lead us to Jesus?” he added.

Pabillo said that like Mary who centered her life to her son, the faithful must also imitate her actions and make Christ as the center of their lives.

“The whole life of Mary is centered on her son and that is the example that our life could also be centered on Jesus. This is the meaning of Mary’s virginity…it is not just something that is physical. A virgin is one whose attention is only on the beloved,” he said.

“There is no reason for us to be celibate if Jesus is not around.  That is why the celibate ones are not those who do not love. They are those who love the Lord so much that all their love is consumed by the Lord,” he added.

“Mary is the surest guide and help in our journey to Jesus because that is what she wants—to bring us closer to Christ,” he said.

He encouraged the faithful to share their devotion to the Blessed Mother so others may also feel her intercession in their day-to-day lives.

“The year of faith challenges us not only to receive the faith, but also to spread the faith. What is lacking is not only we do not know the faith, but we also do not share the faith. (Let us be reminded that) the devotion and love to the Blessed Virgin Mary is not only for us, but for all,” he added. (Jennifer Orillaza)

CBCP Website

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