Posts Tagged ‘Mama Mary’

Great! According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration (PAGASA), tomorrow is the start of the autumnal equinox which is the beginning of shorter days and  longer nights in the northern hemisphere which includes the Philippines.  I am thinking of the colder nights which signal the long celebration of the Christmas season here in the Philippines. In fact, some stores have already put up their Christmas decorations and you could hear Christmas songs being played on the radio. And longer nights also mean more time to read and watch late night movies on TV.

Last night, Nissa and I watched the first episode of The Pillars of the Earth which was aired for two hours on Star Movies. It’s an eight part mini series adapted from the bestselling novel of the same title by Ken Follett. I can’t wait to see the succeeding episodes.  Based on what I’ve seen last night, the series is a good adaptation of the more than a thousand pages book of Follett.  Rufus Sewell as Tom Builder and Matthew Macfadyen as Prior Philip are two of my favorite characters in the series.  Nissa said it’s kind of “bitin” since she hasn’t read the book yet. I told her, once she starts reading the book, it would be hard to put it down.  There is a sequel to the book called World Without End. Nissa bought me a copy but I haven’t read it yet. The story happens 200 years later in the same fictitious town , Kingsbridge.

Don’t forget, tomorrow is St. Padre Pio’s feast day. Last November, a friend from Rome gave me a third class relic of Padre Pio from the Capuchin Friary in Rotondo, Italy.

May Mary convert the troubles of your life into joy” – St. Padre Pio of  Pietrelcina

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I received this wonderful text message from Lovell, a close friend from Sto. Domingo Convent. It’s written in Tagalog which I really appreciate . It’s a lovely greeting for Mama Mary’s birthday today:

Salamat sa Diyos sa pagkakaloob kay Maria!  Salamat kay Maria sa pagkakaloob kay Hesus! Maligayang bati sa kaarawan ni Maria! Pueblo amante de Maria!

I love it! and I am just so overwhelmed by the number of views I am getting since last night. In my more than two years of blogging,  today I got the highest number of clicks in one blog so far and the highest  in one day. As of this writing, my bar graph is getting crazy, yesterday, it registered 398 and today it is 1, 280 as of this minute and still counting.  Amazing that almost all my blogs on Mama Mary are on the top-rated list.

We regularly update our AFCC Tambayan page by posting topics which the members could relate to and comment on. One of the questions I posted today was about friendship. What do you think is the most important ingredient of a lasting friendship? How do you keep the friendship alive?  Do you have best friends?  I got lots of comments and a lively discussion, some  even touching on platonic friendship. Who can keep a secret, a boy or a girl? Most of them are of the belief that communication, honesty, trust, love, patience and understanding count for a lasting friendship. Nowadays, friendship is loosely defined as something that is fleeting and temporary. You call someone you’ve just met a friend, but for friendship to be real, it needs  nurturing for it to grow. One needs time for a friendship to bloom. Communication is one thing, I think it is the main ingredient for a true and real friendship. It will die a natural death if  you don’t communicate. Once you find true friends, treasure them because they are more valuable than gold.

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Tomorrow is Mama Mary’s birthday. Here’s a lovely profile picture posted at our Catholic site, Apostles Filipino Catholic Community.  I would love to share  with you some lovely quotes about the Blessed Virgin Mary. They exactly echo what I deeply feel in my heart for her.

“Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.”
– Saint Maximilian Kolbe

“We never give more honour to Jesus than when we honour his Mother, and we honour her simply and solely to honour him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek – Jesus, her Son.”
Saint Louis Marie de Montfort, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin

“Mary, my dearest Mother, give me your heart so beautiful, so pure, so immaculate so full of love and humility that I may receive Jesus as you did – and go in haste to give him to others.” Blessed Mother Teresa

“To serve the Queen of Heaven is already to reign there, and to live under her commands is more than to govern.” St. John Marie Vianney


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I am again borrowing the profile pic of our Catholic page, Apostles Filipino Catholic Community. Fr. Louie , my co-admin and creator of the site made this for today. Tomorrow we will be celebrating the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Act of Love to the Sacred Heart

Reveal Thy Sacred Heart to me, O Jesus, and show me Its attractions. Unite me to It for ever. Grant that all my aspirations and all the beats of my heart, which cease not even while I sleep, may be a testimonial to Thee of my love for Thee and may say to Thee: Yes, Lord, I am all Thine; the pledge of my allegiance to Thee rests ever in my heart and will never cease to be there. Do Thou accept the slight amount of good that I do and be graciously pleased to repair all my wrongdoing; so that I may be able to bless Thee in time and in eternity. Amen.

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Today, we are celebrating one of the loveliest feast in the Catholic calendar, the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Elizabeth, who was Mary’s cousin was six months pregnant with St. John the Baptist. This feast commemorates the second joyful mysteries of the holy rosary. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greetings, the infant leaped in her womb. In the gospel of Luke 1: 46-55, we find Mary’s Magnificat, the great worship hymn of Mary.

And Mary said:
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.”

I spent the early part of the morning weeding. There are overgrown unwanted weeds interspersed with our carabao grass.  Sometimes, it is really hard to maintain a garden no matter how small it is but the you can’t quantify the joys and fulfillment you find in digging the earth, letting the rich smell reach your senses. And it is even better when you find blooms all around.  The quiet time you spend in a garden just feels like you are meditating, learning about the wonder that nature brings. You may find a stray plant that you haven’t seen for quite a while. Annuals just sprout in a corner, more like, now you see them, now you don’t.

I now have several blooms of my lovely Gardenia plant. Almost every tip has a bud waiting to open. How enchanting and lovely to see the white flowers hiding behind the silky green leaves.  I was able to buy another type of Begonia last week.  I have two Semperflorens in white and red but I couldn’t place the name of the one I bought recently. Its flowers are elongated and are deep red and the leaves are somewhat thicker.

The month of May is ending.  I wish to see more blooms this coming month of June. And as always, I greet the new month with enthusiasm and joy.

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It’s raining cats and dogs and there is a super typhoon coming.  PAGASA named her Chedeng. I just can’t help but recall the damage brought by typhoon Ondoy – loss of lives which can never be replaced and a gargantuan damage to properties.  I remember how  we coped during those days, five families all in one roof and our belongings  destroyed by the typhoon. Even our car was completely submerged in water. It always pays to be on the alert specially now that the rainy season is almost upon us.

I want to share this wonderful prayer, we usually pray it after  praying the Holy Rosary.

Consecration of the Home 
to Our Lady Help of Christians

Most holy Virgin Mary, appointed by God to be the Help of Christians, we choose you as the Mother and protectress of our home. We ask you to favour us with your powerful protection. Preserve our home from every danger, from fire, flood, lighting, storm, earthquake, thieves, vandals, and from every other danger. Bless us, protect us, defend us, keep as your own all the people who dwell in this home: protect them from all accidents and misfortunes, but above of all obtain for them the most important grace of avoiding sin. Mary help of Christians pray for all those- who live in this home which is consecrated to you for all time. Amen

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What a lovely way to start another year in blogging by celebrating the feast of Mama Mary. Today, 94 years ago, Our Lady appeared before three shepherd children at Fatima in Portugal. Here’s a picture I took of the image of Our Lady of Fatima three years ago in Binakayan, Kawit. Cavite.

Prayer to Our Lady of Fatima 

Dearest Mother, Queen of the Holy Rosary, who came to Fatima to reveal to all mankind the Divine plan for true Christian peace, of prayer, penance, and consecration, grant an abundance of grace, strength, and guidance to the members of Thy Fatima Crusade, here present and throughout the world. Inspire us to great zeal, oh great Mediatrix of All Graces, that we may be effective instruments in spreading devotion to Thy Rosary; that we may be faithful in wearing Thy scapular; that we may inspire our brothers in Christ to a life of sacrifice, penance, and modesty, and finally, that we may help to bring about that wonderful day when all men, through consecration to Thy Immaculate Heart, shall be one in Christ. Amen.

Hymn to Our Lady of Fatima

Dear Lady of Fatima,
We come on bended knee,
To beg Your intercession,
For peace and unity.

Dear Mary, won’t You show us,
The right and shining way,
We pledge our love and offer You,
A Rosary each day.

You promised at Fatima,
Each time that You appeared,
To help us if we pray to You,
To banish war and fear.

Dear Lady, on First Saturdays,
We ask Your guiding hand,
For grace and guidance here on earth,
And protection for our land.

Mama Mary, please pray for us, protect us with your mantle , just as you protected your son Jesus Christ. Amen!

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I’ve been waiting for this, the celebration of Easter Sunday. I look back at the days beginning Lent and the silent but meaningful celebration of Holy Week and Easter Triduum , and I’m  once gain grateful for lessons learned, sacrifices achieved, prayers answered and lots of blessings to speak of.  When I think of Easter, it always reminds me of a new beginning, a new hope, a new life.  We should not only look at Easter as Christ being risen but as a symbol of His infinite love for us. Hope is something we all need in our lives and Easter brings that hope in all of us. Every year we are given the chance to renew our baptismal promises  during Easter Sunday. And isn’t it a great celebration knowing that what your godparents did  for you when you were just an infant are the same promises you undertake to do for the rest of your life?  Isn’t it amazing that grace flows when we affirm it? For us Catholics, Baptism is not just a mere formality but it brings us to a new life in Christ, the very mark of being a Christian. I took  a few shots of the Easter Sunday celebration in our Parish and would like to share them with you. My daughter and I did some cooking too to celebrate Easter lunch and dinner. I prepared  Pork Adobo and Ginatang langka while she cooked Shrimp Pasta for dinner.  Hubby was not around so it was only the three of us who shared lunch and dinner. There is more than enough to last us until tomorrow.  We’ve  abstained from eating meat since the start of Lent  so it is a little exciting to eat pork again.

 The Paschal Candle

 Image of the Risen Christ

 The image of Mama Mary during the Salubong

I love this tradition of Salubong which dramatizes the eventual meeting of  the Risen Christ and that of His Mother, Mama Mary. It is  a pre-dawn procession wherein the men and women start from different areas and meet in front of the church.  The men walk behind  the image of the Resurrected Christ while the Blessed Mother, still covered in a black veil, comes in the front line of the women. A kid do the task of lifting the veil of Mama Mary. Beautiful. The Salubong signals a new beginning for all of us. And what does the Salubong and Easter tell us?  God is truly present in our lives and He is present in every heart that truly shares love with one another. Would love to end this reflection with these lovely lines:

Now let the heavens be joyful,

Let earth her song begin:

the round world keep triumph,

And all that is therein; Invisible and visible,

Their notes let all things blend,

For Christ the Lord is risen

Our joy that hath no end. -Saint John of Damascus-

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In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?” And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the Child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.- Luke 1: 26-38

Today,  March 25, 2011, we are celebrating the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. It  is now celebrated as a Marian Feast, a joyful celebration, Mary’s consent to the  divine plan of redemption.  It’s nine months before the Feast of the Nativity of Jesus.

Fiat” means “let it be done” in Latin. Mary’s fiat, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done  to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38) shows us that Mary is the model of obedience and humble faith.

Happy Feast Day of the Annunciation!

(picture taken from the published painting by Philippe de Champaigne)

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We’ve finally had another chance to visit the National  Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in Quezon City this morning and we were lucky to attend the morning mass.  The image of Our Lady is more beautiful than ever and I could not resist taking a few shots.

Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes

O ever-Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy,
health of the sick, refuge of sinners,
comforter of the afflicted,
you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings;
look with mercy on me.

By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes,
you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary,
whence you dispense your favors;
and already many sufferers have obtained
the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal.

I come, therefore, with complete confidence
to implore your maternal intercession.

Obtain, O loving Mother, the grant of my requests.
Through gratitude for your favors,
I will endeavor to imitate your virtues,
that I may one day share your glory. Amen.

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