The Patroness of The Philippines
At the time of this writing, we are celebrating the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Principal Patroness of the Philippines. From my readings about this feast, it was Pope Pius XII through an Apostolic Letter in September of 1942 who made her the patroness of our country, upon the request of Philippine bishops. Our Lady, under this title, has a home in Naga City at the Parish of the Immaculate Conception (ICP) under the pastoral leadership of Fr. Domingo “Aba” Florida, in which I happen to have served as a Lay Liturgical Minister for twenty-five (25) years. In December 2017 President Rodrigo Duterte approved a law declaring this day as a special non-working holiday. It is an opportune time for Filipinos to come together in prayer and reflection, especially at this time when there is great need of national healing amidst much divisiveness under the present administration. We Catholics believe that the feast celebrates the extraordinary grace received by the Blessed Mother of being free from original sin, she being the one chosen to become the Mother of Jesus. The famous biblical line quoting the words of Mary, “Let it be done to me according to thy Word” shows the Blessed Mother’s obedience to God’s plan for her.
What does this devotion have to do with our life as a Filipino people? Perhaps it is in our strong attachment to the Mother of God that we draw much resilience and hope underneath the many challenges that we face time and again. Hopefully, it is the same devotion that will bring us to make the right choices when we vote in the elections in May 2022 Our vote should reflect what is important to us as a people, and should reflect the very same devotion that we have for our Blessed Mother.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“HAVE RECOURSE TO MARY IN ALL YOUR NECESSITIES” -ST. BASIL
FOR OUR WORD OF LIFE:
“AND MARY PONDERED EVERYTHING IM HER HEART” -LUKE 2:19