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Posts Tagged ‘my Catholic life’


Today, 103 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 nine years ago in Binakayan, Kawit, Cavite. Proud of this shot, just reduced its size to save on space.

Here’s another photo that one of our volunteers took  early this morning during the Marian procession at  our village, an image of our Blessed Lady.

Another image of Our Lady of Fatima

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Candlemas (also spelled Candlemass), is  also known as the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus Christ and the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a Christian Holy Day commemorating the presentation of Jesus at the Temple. It is based upon the account of the presentation of Jesus in Luke 2:22–40 which is the gospel today.

We had a short procession after the blessing of candles outside the church.  We had to light at least one candle while going inside the church. It was a lovely celebration with our good friend Fr. Aly officiating.  All my candles at home were previously blessed and we usually use them at the altar during prayers at home.   It is better to light a candle than to stumble in the dark.

Tomorrow is the Feast of St. Blaise. Blaise is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic church. A doctor, he is a patron saint of those sufferers from throat diseases. I told Nissa to hear mass too so her throat would be blessed.

I love these Catholic rituals that we observe throughout the year.  They strengthen my faith and beliefs.

 

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They say that the devotion to the Sto Niño in the Philippines is as old as the history of Christianity in the country. Today we celebrate the Feast of Sto Niño, the child Jesus. “Pit Señor” is the short form of “Sangpit sa Señor,” a phrase in Cebuano that means, “to call, ask, and plead to the king.” We celebrate the  Feast of  Sto. Niño every 3rd Sunday of January, the Holy See has granted us special permission to celebrate it, a unique devotion among  us Filipinos.  It is a festive celebration which recalls our conversion to Christianity.

There are so many celebrations in the Philippines during the Feast. We have the Sinulog Festival in Cebu, the Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo, the Ati-Atihan in Kalibo, Aklan, the street dances in Tondo, Manila and many other places where the Sto Niño is their patron saint.  These are famous celebration usually seen by tourists from other countries as well. We venerate the image of the child Jesus. Sto Niño is a Roman Catholic title of the child Jesus.

Given the humility of a child, the frank  and straight to the point way  they say what they think, the honesty written in a child’s face, the loving and lovable way they accept things without question, these are the lovely traits we often envy. Sometimes we wish we were little kids again.

Viva Pit Señor!

 

 

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Last night was the start of our yearly Simbang Gabi or Dawn mass.  Back in the days, it used to be called Rooster Mass because  4am or 5am were usually when the rooster in your neighborhood crows.  Simbang Gabi is a beautiful nine-day novena masses in Thanksgiving for all the blessing one received in the year. It’s traditional for us Filipino Catholics. I think it is only in the Philippines where you could find this. Times has changed, nowadays these Simbang Gabi are celebrated early, usually the night before the next day to give way for those who want to attend the novena after office.  They are also brought to some malls where they are celebrated at noon and most offices also hold these masses during lunch break.

I was overjoyed seeing the Pope opening the Simbang Gabi tradition. The mass readings were read in Tagalog  but there was a translator in English. Even the songs were sung in Tagalog  by the Filipino community. I’d like to think we are special because they have adapted one of the lovely traditions in our Catholic life.

Although our country is now in the brink of…..how do you put it….the ship is sinking fast because of these non-performing powers that be in our government, I still have high hopes that this will end eventually and we will rise up again. It may just take one brave soul to start it, right now though, we are at the mercy of one man who holds everything from the Supreme Court to the Legislative Branch to our National Police down to the barangay level. I need not elaborate, perhaps you also read them online.

I digress.

We were talking about Simbang Gabi, right? There are many churches now and several congregations too that televise the celebration of the nine-day novena masses. They end the day before Christmas day.

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I love you, Lord
And I lift my voice
To worship You
Oh, my soul, rejoice!
Take joy my King
In what You hear
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
In Your ear.

 

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I promised myself I won’t start the week in front of my PC and I didn’t. Know what? Our service provider Globe did it for me. We didn’t have internet connection yesterday. It was quiet around the house with only the radio on playing some old songs.

Today is Holy Tuesday. Most shows on television are about the passion and death of Jesus Christ. The best times to watch and reflect. Holy Week is that time of the year where we need more of these – reflections and spiritual readings.

I started on The First Phone Call From Heaven.  I guess this is not one of the best books by Mitch Albom. Except for his two latest books, I read all starting from Tuesdays With Morrie which I like the best. Like the rest of his books, this is an inspirational one. A glimpse of how we perceive what life is like in Heaven.

Gotta start The Seven Storey Mountain in a while, a book by Thomas Merton, a Trappist Monk. Accordingly, is one of the most influential religious works of the twentieth century. I encountered his works the first time when I was in college working as a student librarian at  the Humanities Section of the UST Library.  And this book used to be on my wish list but a friend gave me a copy when she went home for vacation a month ago. I completed posting the whole Bible readings for the month of April  at our Catholic page on Facebook.

It’s a nice start for the Holy Week. Holy Thursday and Good Friday are official holidays here.

 

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