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Merciful Church Journeying Together Set Ablaze with The Divine Heart of Jesus

GIVE thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endures forever!” (Ps 117: 1). In order to understand thoroughly the truth of these words, let us be led by the liturgy to the heart of the event of Salvation, which unites Christ’s Death and Resurrection with our lives and with the world’s history. This miracle of mercy has radically changed humanity’s destiny. It is a miracle in which is unfolded the fullness of the love of the Father who, for our redemption, does not even draw back before the sacrifice of His Only-begotten Son.

While grieving the loss of a dear friend and benefactor +Nilo Portes Aureus who exuded kindness, generosity and mercy to both religious and lay alike in his lifetime came the stark realization of how great this man is. His life is an inspiration to many. He lived out the merciful heart of Jesus as a family man, just like in St Luke’s Gospel of the three parables of God’s rich mercy: The Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin, and The Prodigal Son. The latter, sometimes referred to as the Parable of the Merciful Father and the Two Sons, is an especially powerful lesson, rich in imagery. A common theme runs through all three stories of mercy. In each, something of value is lost; a great, seemingly exaggerated search for what is lost takes place; what is lost is found; and the person who finds what is lost invites all to a great, joyful celebration. A loving spouse, father and grandfather, brother and relative, he will surely be missed but never forgotten. Looking back, just like St Paul, Sir Nilo will praise the Lord for the work he had accomplished. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the Righteous Judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for His appearing.” He treats employees with respect, as valuable individuals in the image of God, believing in them to be creative and responsible, seeking to do good work and make a contribution.A valiant supporter of the Caceres Commission on Communications, Parish Priests, Religious Congregations, KBP, PNP, PIA, Radio Caritas Mariae, GOs, NGOs, Socio-Civic Organizations among others through the years, humble and dedicated supporter of community advocacies especially the marginalized sectors in society.

Extraordinary graces abound in his suffering, months prior to his demise, he was marked by prayer and piety. His suffering was constant, teaching us that our suffering is of immense value when joined with Our Savior’s sacrifice and born with humility. St Padre Pio, a man of immense spiritual gifts and insight says that the greater your sufferings, the greater God’s love for you, when we suffer, Jesus is closer to us, the storms that are raging around you will turn out to be for God’s glory, your own merit, and the good of many souls and every sacrifice which your soul makes, every good it does is directed to God for the sanctification of all to name a few.

In 2002, St Pope John Paul II entrusted the whole world to Divine Mercy when he consecrated the International Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Lagiewniki, a suburb of Krakow in Poland . He told the Marian Fathers: “Be apostles of Divine Mercy under the maternal and loving guidance of Mary.” Which they have been faithfully following ever since. Both in his teaching and personal life, St. Pope John Paul II strove to live and teach the message of Divine Mercy. As the great Mercy Pope, he wrote an encyclical on Divine Mercy: “The Message of Divine Mercy has always been near and dear to me… which I took with me to the See of Peter and which it in a sense forms the image of this Pontificate.” In his writings and homilies, he has described Divine Mercy as the answer to the world’s problems and the message of the third millennium. He beatified and canonized Sr. Maria Faustina Kowalska, the nun associated with the message, and he did it in Rome and not in Poland to underscore that Divine Mercy is for the whole world.

In her Diary, St. Faustina records a special promise given to her by Jesus. He told her to communicate it to the whole world: My daughter, tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. In three places in her Diary, St. Faustina records our Lord’s promises of specific, extraordinary graces: I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy (1109). Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment (300). The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion will obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment (699).To receive these graces, the only condition is to receive Holy Communion worthily on Divine Mercy Sunday (or the Vigil celebration) by making a good confession beforehand and staying in the state of grace and trusting in His Divine Mercy. By these conditions, our Lord is emphasizing the value of confession and Holy Communion as miracles of mercy. The Eucharist is Jesus, Himself, the Living God, longing to pour Himself as Mercy into our hearts. In addition, our Lord says through St. Faustina that we are to perform acts of mercy: “Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be acts of mercy” (742). “The graces of My mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive” (1578).The worthy reception of the Eucharist on Divine Mercy Sunday is sufficient to obtain the extraordinary graces promised by Jesus.

Last April 7, 2024, the Maximilian Ministry of Caceres simultaneously Celebrated Divine Mercy Sunday with our beloved Persons Deprived of Liberty in 5 Jail facilities in Caceres namely: CamSur Provincial Jail and Penal Farm, BJMP Tigaon, BJMP Iriga, BJMP Naga Female and Male Wards. Starting off with the Eucharistic Celebration, the summit of God’s saving action: the Lord Jesus, by becoming bread broken for us, pours upon us all of His mercy and His love, so as to renew our hearts, our lives and our way of relating with Him and with the brethren, then, enthronement of Divine Mercy Image with Divine Mercy Chaplet and Promises, Imposition of Manto ni Ina, Our Lady of Peñafrancia, gift giving of Manto ni Ina to all Jail facilities, wheelchair to PDL with brain cancer, volleyball net and ball, religious books and general reading materials, livelihood items, old clothes for PDL and for rug making, thread for sewing, song and dance rendition by the Missionaries of the Poor brothers, Sisters of the Little Mission for the Deaf with the Missionaries of Charity Sisters, Deaf Community, Noah, a German Exchange volunteer under EPECTO program, feeding of macaroni soup, volunteers and guests at Tinangis jail made the day very special and joyous. Compassion, love, acceptance is almost tangible. The Joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept His offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew. We are all encouraged as Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come. Enthronement of same Divine image with prayers and giving of bread and biscuits were likewise given to the Joseph Gualandi School For Hearing Impaired Inc in Balatas NC, BMC ICU NC, Naga City, Children’s Home, Pacol , NC home for streekids and in danger of abuse and exploitation, services include childcare, emergency care , clothing, meals legal assistance, shelter for homeless kids and teens , protection from domestic violence, HABLONDAWANI, home for girls and women at high risk and vulnerable to exploitation because of their conditions in life such as marginalized, made by poor systems, and domestic violence, Dilapidated chapel at Looban 2, former dumpsite, Balatas, NC ,critically ill, stroke patients, persons struggling with addictions and sexual sins, and dying patients received same Divine Mercy Image with prayers, Biscuits and bread were distributed to candle sellers in Peñafrancia Church, beggars in plaza and market steps in NC, PWDs, blind, deaf and mute kids.

Generous and merciful friends and benefactors made the celebration of the Feast of the Divine Mercy miraculous. Even on a very short notice, support and help poured out viz Atlantic Bakery, Gardenia Bakeries Philippines, facilitated by Sir Joey Santos and Mr Christian, Graceland Food Industries Inc, Bellissimo Boulangerie & Patisserie , Chefs/Spouses Domique and Maybelle Tan Velasquez for the mini cakes for priests, Marantz Tailoring, Tribo Bicolano by Engr Warren and Mrs Dolores Perez Chavez Amy Commercial & Upholstery Shop by Mr Benjun Co, Bob Marlin by Mrs Cristy Magsino Palma, Mrs Maricar and Trixie Odiamar of RKX Construction, Dra Maria Crescenta Manlagñit, Mr Ricky Magtuto. Mrs Erlinda Nava, Mrs Margie Villafuerte Felizmenio, Mrs Cecil Lim Alfonso, Mrs Fe Ordoñez, USI-HS Batch 86, Mrs Mariz Ruiz Tolentino, Missionaries of the Poor for the medicines, Sisters of the Little Mission for the Deaf for religious books and reading materials, Mr Edgar Beriña. Bulik for labor and frame making, Kuya Enteng, Mr Noel and John Carlo Samonte for transporation and service and anonymous donors, Jesus tells us that as His followers, we must show mercy to others just as our Heavenly Father shows mercy to us. To receive God’s mercy, scripture shows us that we need to: A. Ask God for mercy; B. Be merciful to other people; and C. Completely trust in God’s mercy for our lives. This is the message of mercy that God has been delivering to humanity since the beginning of human history. If we want to join Him in heaven, we must live out each of these Divine Mercy ABCs.

In 1931, our Lord appeared to St. Faustina in a vision. She saw Jesus clothed in a white garment with His right hand raised in blessing. His left hand was touching His garment in the area of the Heart, from where two large rays came forth, one red and the other pale. She gazed intently at the Lord in silence, her soul filled with awe, but also with great joy. Jesus said to her: Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You. I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over [its] enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I Myself will defend it as My own glory (Diary, 47, 48). I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces to the fountain of mercy. That vessel is this image with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You (327). I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and [then] throughout the world (47). At the request of her spiritual director, St. Faustina asked the Lord about the meaning of the rays in the image. She heard these words in reply: The two rays denote Blood and Water. The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls. These two rays issued forth from the depths of My tender mercy when My agonized Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross. Happy is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him (299). By means of this image I shall grant many graces to souls. It is to be a reminder of the demands of My mercy, because even the strongest faith is of no avail without works (742). These words indicate that the Image represents the graces of Divine Mercy poured out upon the world, especially through Baptism and the Eucharist.

Lord Jesus Christ, eternal and merciful God, Creator and Redeemer of all, listen to my prayer.

For the love You bear to those who ask forgiveness, look on me with mercy, as once You did look on Mary Magdalene and on Peter who denied Thee. Look on me, Lord Jesus Christ, as You did looked at the thief on his cross and on every sinner whom You ever forgiven. Look on me, merciful Lord, as You did look on Thy Mother, Mary, standing in sorrow beneath Thy Cross. Let me feel in my heart her compassion for Thee, and let my eyes weep for Thy sorrows caused by my sinful life. Call me back from the darkness to my Father’s house, give me a new heart and a place at Thy side in the banquet You had prepared for me. Jesus, I Trust in You! AMEN.


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