Entrust yourselves to Mary — Palma
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma yesterday consecrated the entire Philippines to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, the principal patroness of the country.
Amid the recent calamities that wreaked havoc in the Visayas, Palma urged the people not to despair but to entrust themselves to Mary.
“Even with all the calamities, the feast of Mary gives us a reason to be hopeful. In Mary, God remembers His people. In our journey through life, we can say Mama Mary is with us because she is our mother,” the prelate said.
Palma presided over the pontifical Mass at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral yesterday morning as Catholics around the world celebrated the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.
The feast has been traditionally held every Dec. 8, but since the date falls on a Sunday, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is celebrated the day after. Under Church rules, the Sundays of Advent, Lent, and Easter takes precedence over other celebrations.
Palma said Catholics have high regard for Mary. “This is because God chose her to be the mother of His son,” he said.
Palma said Mary was preserved free from all stain of original sin from the moment she was conceived in St. Anne’s womb.
The 63-year-old prelate said it is an honor that the Philippines has been considered as “Pueblo Amante de Maria” or “A people in love with Mary.”
Palma said he was also amazed by several images of the Blessed Virgin Mary that remain unscathed even if the churches were ruined by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake and supertyphoon Yolanda.
“You begin to ask why. It’s an assurance that Mama Mary is standing with us. Even if the earthquake was strong, it failed to destroy our faith. Not even the flood and typhoon,” he said.
“We can trust in her (Mary’s) love. She will bring us to Jesus. Yes, there is evil in the world. But in God’s plan, the Messiah will defeat the evil ones. Truth will triumph over lies; the light will triumph over darkness,” he added.
After the Mass, the congregation sang “Salve Regina,” a Latin hymn for Hail Holy Queen, and lined up to venerate the image of Mary adorned with white flowers. /REPORTER ADOR VINCENT S. MAYOL
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