Palma to faithful: Turn to Mary
On the occasion of the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary yesterday, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma reminded Cebuanos to look up to the Blessed Mother in times of challenges and turmoils.
“Tan-aw kang Mary, duol kang Mary, salig kang Mary,” Palma said in his homily during the Mass celebrated for the birthday of the Blessed Mother at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.
Palma said the nativity of the Virgin Mary is well-celebrated in Cebu since Cebuanos are avowed devotees of the Sr. Sto. Niño and without Mary, the Child Jesus would not have been born.
“Buksan nato atong mga kasing-kasing ug atong panimalay sa paghigugma ni Maria. (Let’s open our hearts and our homes to the love of Mary),” said Palma.
Feasts and processions were held all over Cebu in the different Marian parishes and Archdiocesan shrines including the Simala Shrine which is famous for its miraculous image of Mary which was believed to have shed tears.
“In the plan of salvation, Mary was already part of it from the beginning. She walked with us and so on her birthday, we walk with Mary,” Palma said.
Walk with Mary
More than 4,000 devotees carrying candles and bouquets of flowers joined the 4 a.m. Walk with Mary solemn procession yesterday which started at the Fuente Osmeña rotunda traversing Jones Avenue down to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral where a holy Mass was celebrated.
At least 27 images of the Blessed Mother were paraded in the Walk with Mary from the different Marian parishes and devotee-families.
The images of the Blessed Mary represented the apparitions of Mary to her devotees as well as the depictions of the Holy Mother by the scriptures.
Some of the images that were showcased during the birthday celebration included the Birhen sa Guadalupe, Birhen sa Regla, Nuestra Señora de la Salud, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Various Marian organizations also gathered at the Cathedral grounds carrying banners of the Blessed Mother which they brought to their different programs held after the mass.
Devotees like 53-year-old, Teresita (not her real name), also squeezed her way through the dense Cathedral crowd for the birthday celebration.
Teresita who has been a devotee of the Birhen sa Guadalupe said that she has never skipped a single Walk with Mary in the past five years.
She said she started walking with Mary after her husband died of heart attack.
“Si Mama Mary man gud ako dalangpan atong ako nalang usa intawon. Devotee gyod ko niya hangtod mopanaw na ko. (Mama Mary is my solitude for all those years I became lonely. I have devoted myself to her until I die),” said Teresita.
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