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Rejoicing as the pope dedicates the world to Our Lady

MANILA (Agencies) : The bishops of The Philippines have joined
Pope Francis in celebrating the entrusting of the world to the care of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

On the feast of the Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, October 13, the outgoing president of the bishops’ conference, Archbishop José Palma, wrote to the pope expressing joy that he was to “entrust the whole world to Our Lady of Fatima, which is an act of filial entrustment to the maternal care and protection of Our Lady of Fatima, Queen of Peace.”

CBCP News reported that Archbishop Palma told Pope Francis that on June 8 last year, The Philippines was entrusted to the mother of God in a National Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

“We thank you (Pope Benedict) again for your message to us and your apostolic blessing on that occasion,” the archbishop of Cebu wrote.

The Philippine Committee for the National Consecration travelled to Rome to be present at the papal consecration of the world to Mary.

Bishop Broderick Pabillo used the occasion to remind people that devotion to the Madonna must not be solely Our Lady-centric. “It must be used as a means to get to know Christ in a deeper perspective,” he told a gathering at a Marian Conference at San Carlos Seminary.

“Sometimes there is an over expression of the people’s devotion that those who are not very much acquainted with get confused over,” the auxiliary bishop of Manila said.

He also reminded people that they must keep a perspective, saying that we venerate Our Lady, not worship her.

“The whole life of Mary is centred on her son and that is the example that our life could also be centred on Jesus. This is the meaning of Mary’s virginity… It is not just something that is physical. A virgin is one whose attention is only on the beloved,” he explained.

“There is no reason for us to be celibate if Jesus is not around. That is why the celibate ones are not those who do not love. They are those who love the Lord so much that all their love is consumed by the Lord,” he added.

“Mary is the surest guide and help in our journey to Jesus because that is what she wants—to bring us closer to Christ,” he said.

Bishop Pabillo encouraged the gathering at the seminary to share their devotion to the Blessed Mother, so others may also feel her intercession in their day-to-day lives.

“The year of faith challenges us not only to receive the faith, but also to spread the faith. What is lacking is not only that we do not know the faith, but we also do not share the faith. Let us be reminded that the devotion to and love of the Blessed Virgin Mary is not only for us, but for all people,” he concluded.

Pope Francis celebrated a Mass in St. Peter’s Square in Rome on October 13 in front of an image of the Virgin Mary that had been brought from Fatima at the renewal of the act of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

He told the estimated 100,000 people gathered around the area, “This is an act we carry out with confidence, confident that each of us is precious in your sight and that nothing is alien to you.”

He continued in his prayer to Mary, “We are touched by the gaze of your sweet eyes and welcome the comforting caress of your smile. Safeguard our lives in your arms: bless and strengthen every desire for goodness, revitalise and nourish our faith, sustain and brighten the hope that stirs the soul and charity; guide all of us on the path of holiness.”

Pope Francis prayed, “Teach us your same love and preference for the young and the poor, the marginalised and the suffering, for sinners and those whose hearts are lost: gather all under your protection and deliver us all to your beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus.”

 

It must be used
as a means to
get to know
Christ in
a deeper
perspective