CATHOLIC FAITH: Mama Mary, the only one left standing after the Frankenstorm Sandy destroyed a church.

CATHOLIC FAITH: Mama Mary, the only one left standing after the Frankenstorm Sandy destroyed a church.

GOSPEL: The Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38)
The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called  Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of  David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said,  “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly  troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might  be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have  found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a  son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called  Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David  his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of  his kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can  this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to  her in reply, “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, Elizabeth, your relative, has  also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her  who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary  said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me  according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Gospel Reflection:
“How do we solve a problem like Maria?”By Fr. Thomas Rosica CSBThe Sound of Music stage play and I are the same age – both from that vintage year of 1959 – and the film version was the first motion picture I saw as child in the mid 1960’s with my family. God alone knows how many times I have seen it since on stage, at the theatre and on television!A few years ago, the Rodgers and Hammerstein famed musical The Sound of Music delighted audiences in Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre in the downtown theatre district. The city was “alive” with the sound of music. This magnificent production first opened in England under the direction of Andrew Lloyd Weber. The Toronto version of the show did justice to the musical that arguably contains some of the best-loved songs of all time.Solving the problem of Maria von TrappOne of the memorable songs of the play is “Maria,” some-times known as “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?” It is sung brilliantly by Sister Berthe, Sister Sophia, Sister Margaretta and the Mother Abbess as portrayed at the Benedictine Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg, Austria. The nuns are exasperated with Maria for being too frivolous, flighty and frolicsome for the decorous and austere life at the abbey. It is said that when Oscar Hammerstein II wrote the lyrics for this song, he was taken by the detail of her wearing curlers in her hair under her wimple!When older Austrians in Salzburg speak of Maria, it is the “Gottesmutter,” the Mother of the Lord! When the foreigners, especially North Americans, arrive in Salzburg and speak about Maria, it is usually the other one: Maria Augusta Kutschera, later Maria Augusta von Trapp, who was a teacher in the abbey school after World War I and whose life was the basis for the film “The Sound of Music.”Because of this Maria, the abbey acquired international fame, to the consternation of some of the sisters! Having visited Nonnberg Abbey on several occasions while I was studying German in nearby Bavaria, I spoke with a few of the elderly sisters about the impact of “The Sound of Music” on their life. The prioress told me that they have no plaques up about Maria von Trapp and her escapades neither at the abbey nor in Salzburg! One elderly sister said to me, with a smile, “Das ist nur Hollywood!” (That is only Hollywood!)Solving the problem of Maria von NazarethThe Gospel story of the Annunciation presents another Maria, the great heroine of the Christmas stories – Mary of Nazareth – the willing link between humanity and God. She is the disciple par excellence who introduces us to the goodness and humanity of God. She received and welcomed God’s word in the fullest sense, not knowing how the story would finally end. She did not always understand that word throughout Jesus’ life but she trusted and constantly recaptured the initial response she had given the angel and literally “kept it alive,” “tossed it around,” “pondered it” in her heart (Luke 2:19). At Calvary she experienced the full responsibility of her “yes.” We have discovered in the few Scripture passages relating to her that she was a woman of deep faith, compassion, and she was very attentive to the needs of others.Maria von Trapp followed the captain and his little musical family through the Alpine mountain passes of Austria, fleeing a neo-pagan, evil regime that tried to deny the existence of God and God’s chosen people. Some would say that they lived happily ever after in Vermont in the United States, and that their musical reputation lives on through the stage production that enchanted Toronto audiences. The hills are still alive with their music!The “problem” of Maria of Nazareth began when she entertained a strange, heavenly visitor named Gabriel. The young woman of Nazareth was greatly troubled as she discovered that she would bear a son who would be Saviour and Son of the Most High.“How can this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34)The angel answered, “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 holy; he will be called Son of God.”“Here am I, the servant of the Lord,” Mary answered. “let it be with me according to your word.” The angel left her and then the music began: “Magnificat anima mea Dominum.” It would become a refrain filling the world with the sound of its powerful music down through the ages.The message Mary received catapulted her on a trajectory far beyond tiny, sleepy Nazareth and that little strip of land called Israel and Palestine in the Middle East. Mary’s “yes” would impact the entire world, and change human history.Problem solvedMary of Nazareth accepted her “problem” and resolved it through her obedience, fidelity, trust, hope and quiet joy. At that first moment in Nazareth, she could not foresee the brutal ending of the story of this child within her. Only on a hillside in Calvary, years later, would she experience the full responsibility of her “yes” that forever changed the history of humanity.Although there are no plaques commemorating Maria von Trapp’s encounter with destiny at Nonnberg Abbey, there is one small plaque commemorating Mary of Nazareth’s life-changing meeting in her hometown. Standing in the middle of the present day city of Nazareth in Galilee is the mammoth basilica of the Annunciation, built around what is believed to be the cave and dwelling of Mary. A small inscription is found on the altar in this grotto-like room that commemorates the place where Mary received the message from the angel Gabriel, that she would “conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus” (Luke 1:31). The Latin inscription reads “Verbum caro hic factum est” (Here the word became flesh).I can still remember the sensation I had when I knelt before that altar for the first time in 1988. That inscription in the grotto of the Annunciation is profound, otherworldly, earth shaking, life changing, dizzying and awesome. The words “Verbum caro hic factum est” are not found on an ex-voto plaque in the cave of the Nativity in Bethlehem, nor engraved on the outer walls of the Temple ruins or on governmental tourist offices in Jerusalem. They are affixed to an altar deep within the imposing structure of Nazareth’s centrepiece of the Annunciation. “This is where the word became flesh.” This is where history was changed because Mary said “yes.”Could such words be applied to our own lives, to our families, communities, and churches – “Here the word becomes flesh”? Do we know how to listen to God’s Word, meditate upon it and live it each day? Do we put that word into action in our daily lives? Are we faithful, hopeful, loving, and inviting in our discourse and living? What powerful words to be said about Christians – that their words become flesh!However beautiful and catchy are the tunes of Maria of Salzburg, the music of the other Maria, the one from Nazareth, surpasses anything I have ever heard.

GOSPEL: The Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38)

The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “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, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Gospel Reflection:

“How do we solve a problem like Maria?”
By Fr. Thomas Rosica CSB

The Sound of Music stage play and I are the same age – both from that vintage year of 1959 – and the film version was the first motion picture I saw as child in the mid 1960’s with my family. God alone knows how many times I have seen it since on stage, at the theatre and on television!

A few years ago, the Rodgers and Hammerstein famed musical The Sound of Music delighted audiences in Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre in the downtown theatre district. The city was “alive” with the sound of music. This magnificent production first opened in England under the direction of Andrew Lloyd Weber. The Toronto version of the show did justice to the musical that arguably contains some of the best-loved songs of all time.
Solving the problem of Maria von Trapp

One of the memorable songs of the play is “Maria,” some-times known as “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?” It is sung brilliantly by Sister Berthe, Sister Sophia, Sister Margaretta and the Mother Abbess as portrayed at the Benedictine Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg, Austria. The nuns are exasperated with Maria for being too frivolous, flighty and frolicsome for the decorous and austere life at the abbey. It is said that when Oscar Hammerstein II wrote the lyrics for this song, he was taken by the detail of her wearing curlers in her hair under her wimple!

When older Austrians in Salzburg speak of Maria, it is the “Gottesmutter,” the Mother of the Lord! When the foreigners, especially North Americans, arrive in Salzburg and speak about Maria, it is usually the other one: Maria Augusta Kutschera, later Maria Augusta von Trapp, who was a teacher in the abbey school after World War I and whose life was the basis for the film “The Sound of Music.”
Because of this Maria, the abbey acquired international fame, to the consternation of some of the sisters! Having visited Nonnberg Abbey on several occasions while I was studying German in nearby Bavaria, I spoke with a few of the elderly sisters about the impact of “The Sound of Music” on their life. The prioress told me that they have no plaques up about Maria von Trapp and her escapades neither at the abbey nor in Salzburg! One elderly sister said to me, with a smile, “Das ist nur Hollywood!” (That is only Hollywood!)
Solving the problem of Maria von Nazareth

The Gospel story of the Annunciation presents another Maria, the great heroine of the Christmas stories – Mary of Nazareth – the willing link between humanity and God. She is the disciple par excellence who introduces us to the goodness and humanity of God. She received and welcomed God’s word in the fullest sense, not knowing how the story would finally end. She did not always understand that word throughout Jesus’ life but she trusted and constantly recaptured the initial response she had given the angel and literally “kept it alive,” “tossed it around,” “pondered it” in her heart (Luke 2:19). At Calvary she experienced the full responsibility of her “yes.” We have discovered in the few Scripture passages relating to her that she was a woman of deep faith, compassion, and she was very attentive to the needs of others.

Maria von Trapp followed the captain and his little musical family through the Alpine mountain passes of Austria, fleeing a neo-pagan, evil regime that tried to deny the existence of God and God’s chosen people. Some would say that they lived happily ever after in Vermont in the United States, and that their musical reputation lives on through the stage production that enchanted Toronto audiences. The hills are still alive with their music!

The “problem” of Maria of Nazareth began when she entertained a strange, heavenly visitor named Gabriel. The young woman of Nazareth was greatly troubled as she discovered that she would bear a son who would be Saviour and Son of the Most High.

“How can this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34)
The angel answered, “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 holy; he will be called Son of God.”

“Here am I, the servant of the Lord,” Mary answered. “let it be with me according to your word.” The angel left her and then the music began: “Magnificat anima mea Dominum.” It would become a refrain filling the world with the sound of its powerful music down through the ages.

The message Mary received catapulted her on a trajectory far beyond tiny, sleepy Nazareth and that little strip of land called Israel and Palestine in the Middle East. Mary’s “yes” would impact the entire world, and change human history.
Problem solved

Mary of Nazareth accepted her “problem” and resolved it through her obedience, fidelity, trust, hope and quiet joy. At that first moment in Nazareth, she could not foresee the brutal ending of the story of this child within her. Only on a hillside in Calvary, years later, would she experience the full responsibility of her “yes” that forever changed the history of humanity.

Although there are no plaques commemorating Maria von Trapp’s encounter with destiny at Nonnberg Abbey, there is one small plaque commemorating Mary of Nazareth’s life-changing meeting in her hometown. Standing in the middle of the present day city of Nazareth in Galilee is the mammoth basilica of the Annunciation, built around what is believed to be the cave and dwelling of Mary. A small inscription is found on the altar in this grotto-like room that commemorates the place where Mary received the message from the angel Gabriel, that she would “conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus” (Luke 1:31). The Latin inscription reads “Verbum caro hic factum est” (Here the word became flesh).

I can still remember the sensation I had when I knelt before that altar for the first time in 1988. That inscription in the grotto of the Annunciation is profound, otherworldly, earth shaking, life changing, dizzying and awesome. The words “Verbum caro hic factum est” are not found on an ex-voto plaque in the cave of the Nativity in Bethlehem, nor engraved on the outer walls of the Temple ruins or on governmental tourist offices in Jerusalem. They are affixed to an altar deep within the imposing structure of Nazareth’s centrepiece of the Annunciation. “This is where the word became flesh.” This is where history was changed because Mary said “yes.”

Could such words be applied to our own lives, to our families, communities, and churches – “Here the word becomes flesh”? Do we know how to listen to God’s Word, meditate upon it and live it each day? Do we put that word into action in our daily lives? Are we faithful, hopeful, loving, and inviting in our discourse and living? What powerful words to be said about Christians – that their words become flesh!

However beautiful and catchy are the tunes of Maria of Salzburg, the music of the other Maria, the one from Nazareth, surpasses anything I have ever heard.

FAITH: October 9, 2011 - Today, we celebrate the feast of OUR LADY OF THE HOLY ROSARY - LA NAVAL DE MANILAOf all the famous Marian images in the Philippines, La Naval stands alone as a “native virgin”. Although her clothes mark her readily as a product of the 17th century Spanish “Golden Age”, her oriental features reflect the uniqueness of her position as a truly indigenous queen of the Philippines.In 1593, on the death of his father, the Spanish Governor General Luis Perez Dasmarinas commissioned Captain Hernando de los Rios Coronel to have a Marian statue sculpted. He wished to give a religious imprint to his regime in the Philippines. A non-Catholic Chinese sculptor was found to make the statue. This sculptor later became a convert through the intercession of the virgin.The beautiful image was presented to the Manilla Dominicans and enshrined in the old Sto. Domingo Church by the Pasig. The image is about 4’8” tall and is made of hard-wood, with ivory face and hands. Over three centuries have mellowed the ivory to a delicate brown. The Oriental- Filipina face is almond-shaped, with high-set cheekbones and slanting eyes. The image is dressed as a royal lady of the palace of King Philip of Spain. On her left arm, she holds her beloved Holy Child Jesus. With her right arm, she holds a royal scepter and staff and her Rosary. The statue is covered with jewels, tributes from her throngs of devotees through the ages. Each jewel has its own story. The halo is surrounded by 24 stars, and she wears a queenly crown.In 1571, the armada of the Cross under John of Austria, brother of King Phillip II, met and defeated the naval armies of the Crescent under Selim the Sot off the gulf of Lepanto between Italy and Greece. Saint Pius V, the great Dominican Pope, ordered the public praying of the Rosary throughout Christendom in support of the Christian navies stopping the onslaught of Islam. Although aged and ill, he himself led, on foot, a rosary procession through Rome. After the victory fo the Christian forces, the church was quick to acknowledge the help of Our Lady, and instituted October 7 as the feast of the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, a feast around which naval traditions have gravitated through the centuries. From this, the name “La Naval” came to be known as a special title for Our Lady, helper of Christian Navies.In the Philippines of 1646, there were not only hostile Muslims in the South, but also Dutch and English privateers who wanted the riches of the archipelago and who wanted to replace Catholicism with Dutch Protestant Calvinism. During this year, there were five bloody naval battles between the greatly outnumbered Spanish - Catholic - Phillipine forces and the Dutch marauders. Only fifteen of the defenders of Manilla were lost in all of the battles. The Dutch, then political enemies of the Spanish, retreated, and never again threatened to destroy the integrity of the islands by annexing them to the Dutch East Indies.Before each of the battles, the intercession of Our Lady was fervently sought. Crew members — Spanish soldiers, religious, and Filipinos — vowed special homage to Our Lady for a victorious battle. True to their Latin heritage and Catholic pride, the victorious defenders petitioned official church recognition and declaration of the naval victories of 1646 as miracles worked by the Mother of God. The Ecclesiastical Council in Cavite, with the help of doctors of theology, canonical experts, and prominent religious, deliberated and examined written and oral testimonies from all eye-witnesses. Finally, on April 9, 1662, the Council ordered that the five naval victories of 1646 be declared as miraculous, “granted by the Sovereign Lord through the intercession of the Most Holy Virgin and devotion to her Rosary, that the miracles be celebrated, preached and held in festivities and to be recounted among the miracles wrought by the Lady of the Rosary for the greater devotion of the faithful to Our Most Blessed Virgin Mary and Her Holy Rosary.” This decree was signed by all eight members of the Church Council.As ordered, these miracles have been preached and celebrated in solemn festivities for over three centuries. Through the centuries, there have been a number of political upheavals in Catholic Philippines. Still, the people have retained the tradition of celebration of La Naval de Manila.After the 1896 Revolution, the large processions in her honor were toned down, but never suspended. In 1906, La Naval was crowned canonically by Rome’s Apostolic Legate. In l941, her shrine in the old Sto. Domingo Church in Manilla was bombed. La Naval was safely hidden for a time in the old church’s vault, and later transferred to the chapel of the University of Sto. Tomas. Here, thousands of her devotees flocked to honor her in her third Centennial in l946. In l952, the cornerstone was laid for a new shrine at the Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City.In l954, in a boat shaped carriage, La Naval was led in solemn procession by the Philippines hierarchy, public officials, priests, nuns, and thousands of devotees to her new home. This shrine was declared by the Philippine bishops as the national shrine of the Queen of the Holy Rosary of the Philippines.During her feast in October of 1973, La Naval was acknowledged as the patroness of the capitol city of the Philippines. In l974, she was enshrined in a safer vault- altar because of recent sacrilegious robberies of churches and sacred images in the area.In l985, a year long celebration was held in the Philippines for the Marian year. Shortly thereafter, in February of l986, Cardinal Jaime Sin, archbishop of Manilla, called for “people power” in a pastoral act designed to avoid bloodshed. The phenomenon surfaced, and people armed only with the weapons of love —-rosaries, icons of Jesus and Mary, flowers and food —were able to stop tanks and troops in battle gear. Rosary vigils and nightly processions of a replica of the antique image of La Naval were led by the Filipino Dominicans outside the gates of the Presidential palace. Many Filipinos attribute the victory in the peaceful revolution to divine intervention.Two of the most prominent church leaders in the Philippines, Cardinal Sin and Cardinal Ricardo Vidal, archbishop of Cebu, have said they see the church’s role in the Philippines in traditional terms of nonviolence and prevention of bloodshed. They encourage their people to work together for peace. The Dominicans and the devotees of La Naval implore their special patroness here to bring them this fervently sought for peace.

FAITH: October 9, 2011 - Today, we celebrate the feast of OUR LADY OF THE HOLY ROSARY - LA NAVAL DE MANILA

Of all the famous Marian images in the Philippines, La Naval stands alone as a “native virgin”. Although her clothes mark her readily as a product of the 17th century Spanish “Golden Age”, her oriental features reflect the uniqueness of her position as a truly indigenous queen of the Philippines.

In 1593, on the death of his father, the Spanish Governor General Luis Perez Dasmarinas commissioned Captain Hernando de los Rios Coronel to have a Marian statue sculpted. He wished to give a religious imprint to his regime in the Philippines. A non-Catholic Chinese sculptor was found to make the statue. This sculptor later became a convert through the intercession of the virgin.

The beautiful image was presented to the Manilla Dominicans and enshrined in the old Sto. Domingo Church by the Pasig. The image is about 4’8” tall and is made of hard-wood, with ivory face and hands. Over three centuries have mellowed the ivory to a delicate brown. The Oriental- Filipina face is almond-shaped, with high-set cheekbones and slanting eyes. The image is dressed as a royal lady of the palace of King Philip of Spain. On her left arm, she holds her beloved Holy Child Jesus. With her right arm, she holds a royal scepter and staff and her Rosary. The statue is covered with jewels, tributes from her throngs of devotees through the ages. Each jewel has its own story. The halo is surrounded by 24 stars, and she wears a queenly crown.

In 1571, the armada of the Cross under John of Austria, brother of King Phillip II, met and defeated the naval armies of the Crescent under Selim the Sot off the gulf of Lepanto between Italy and Greece. Saint Pius V, the great Dominican Pope, ordered the public praying of the Rosary throughout Christendom in support of the Christian navies stopping the onslaught of Islam. Although aged and ill, he himself led, on foot, a rosary procession through Rome. After the victory fo the Christian forces, the church was quick to acknowledge the help of Our Lady, and instituted October 7 as the feast of the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, a feast around which naval traditions have gravitated through the centuries. From this, the name “La Naval” came to be known as a special title for Our Lady, helper of Christian Navies.

In the Philippines of 1646, there were not only hostile Muslims in the South, but also Dutch and English privateers who wanted the riches of the archipelago and who wanted to replace Catholicism with Dutch Protestant Calvinism. During this year, there were five bloody naval battles between the greatly outnumbered Spanish - Catholic - Phillipine forces and the Dutch marauders. Only fifteen of the defenders of Manilla were lost in all of the battles. The Dutch, then political enemies of the Spanish, retreated, and never again threatened to destroy the integrity of the islands by annexing them to the Dutch East Indies.

Before each of the battles, the intercession of Our Lady was fervently sought. Crew members — Spanish soldiers, religious, and Filipinos — vowed special homage to Our Lady for a victorious battle. True to their Latin heritage and Catholic pride, the victorious defenders petitioned official church recognition and declaration of the naval victories of 1646 as miracles worked by the Mother of God. The Ecclesiastical Council in Cavite, with the help of doctors of theology, canonical experts, and prominent religious, deliberated and examined written and oral testimonies from all eye-witnesses. Finally, on April 9, 1662, the Council ordered that the five naval victories of 1646 be declared as miraculous, “granted by the Sovereign Lord through the intercession of the Most Holy Virgin and devotion to her Rosary, that the miracles be celebrated, preached and held in festivities and to be recounted among the miracles wrought by the Lady of the Rosary for the greater devotion of the faithful to Our Most Blessed Virgin Mary and Her Holy Rosary.” This decree was signed by all eight members of the Church Council.

As ordered, these miracles have been preached and celebrated in solemn festivities for over three centuries. Through the centuries, there have been a number of political upheavals in Catholic Philippines. Still, the people have retained the tradition of celebration of La Naval de Manila.

After the 1896 Revolution, the large processions in her honor were toned down, but never suspended. In 1906, La Naval was crowned canonically by Rome’s Apostolic Legate. In l941, her shrine in the old Sto. Domingo Church in Manilla was bombed. La Naval was safely hidden for a time in the old church’s vault, and later transferred to the chapel of the University of Sto. Tomas. Here, thousands of her devotees flocked to honor her in her third Centennial in l946. In l952, the cornerstone was laid for a new shrine at the Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City.

In l954, in a boat shaped carriage, La Naval was led in solemn procession by the Philippines hierarchy, public officials, priests, nuns, and thousands of devotees to her new home. This shrine was declared by the Philippine bishops as the national shrine of the Queen of the Holy Rosary of the Philippines.

During her feast in October of 1973, La Naval was acknowledged as the patroness of the capitol city of the Philippines. In l974, she was enshrined in a safer vault- altar because of recent sacrilegious robberies of churches and sacred images in the area.

In l985, a year long celebration was held in the Philippines for the Marian year. Shortly thereafter, in February of l986, Cardinal Jaime Sin, archbishop of Manilla, called for “people power” in a pastoral act designed to avoid bloodshed. The phenomenon surfaced, and people armed only with the weapons of love —-rosaries, icons of Jesus and Mary, flowers and food —were able to stop tanks and troops in battle gear. Rosary vigils and nightly processions of a replica of the antique image of La Naval were led by the Filipino Dominicans outside the gates of the Presidential palace. Many Filipinos attribute the victory in the peaceful revolution to divine intervention.

Two of the most prominent church leaders in the Philippines, Cardinal Sin and Cardinal Ricardo Vidal, archbishop of Cebu, have said they see the church’s role in the Philippines in traditional terms of nonviolence and prevention of bloodshed. They encourage their people to work together for peace. The Dominicans and the devotees of La Naval implore their special patroness here to bring them this fervently sought for peace.

FAITH: October 8 - Today is the feast of OUR LADY OF GOOD REMEDY800 years ago thousands of Christians were captured and sold into slavery by Muslim hordes. No one knew how to stop them or how to save the Christians.In 1198 St. John of Matha founded the Trinitarians to go to the slave markets, buy the Christian slaves and set them free. To carry out this plan, the Trinitarians needed large amounts of money. So, they placed their fund-raising efforts under the patronage of Mary.They were so successful at that, over the centuries, the Trinitarians were able to free thousands and thousands of people and to return them safely home. In gratitude for her miraculous assistance,St. John of Matha honored Mary with the title of “Our Lady of Good Remedy.” Devotion to Mary under this ancient title is widely known in Europe and Latin America, and the Church celebrates her feast day on October 8th.Our Lady of Good Remedy is often depicted as the Virgin Mary handing a bag of money to St. John of Matha. When in need - for whatever reason, but especially where you have had difficulty obtaining help - invoke the aid of Our Lady of Good Remedy, and you will surely experience the power of her intercession.She will be our help in these times when we are again threatened by radical Islamic terrorists intent on slaughtering Christians.

FAITH: October 8 - Today is the feast of OUR LADY OF GOOD REMEDY

800 years ago thousands of Christians were captured and sold into slavery by Muslim hordes. No one knew how to stop them or how to save the Christians.

In 1198 St. John of Matha founded the Trinitarians to go to the slave markets, buy the Christian slaves and set them free. To carry out this plan, the Trinitarians needed large amounts of money. So, they placed their fund-raising efforts under the patronage of Mary.

They were so successful at that, over the centuries, the Trinitarians were able to free thousands and thousands of people and to return them safely home. In gratitude for her miraculous assistance,

St. John of Matha honored Mary with the title of “Our Lady of Good Remedy.” Devotion to Mary under this ancient title is widely known in Europe and Latin America, and the Church celebrates her feast day on October 8th.

Our Lady of Good Remedy is often depicted as the Virgin Mary handing a bag of money to St. John of Matha. When in need - for whatever reason, but especially where you have had difficulty obtaining help - invoke the aid of Our Lady of Good Remedy, and you will surely experience the power of her intercession.

She will be our help in these times when we are again threatened by radical Islamic terrorists intent on slaughtering Christians.

O name of Mary! Joy in the heart, honey in the mouth, melody to the ear of Her devout clients!

Saint Anthony of Padua