Metro Manila
Our Lady of Light of Cainta, Rizal PDF Print E-mail

by Jovi Atanacio

In 1571, November 30, observed as the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, the first mass in Cainta was celebrated. As such, the town’s parish was referred to as San Andres de Apostol de Cainta during the Spanish time. This date has since become the official founding of Cainta and the start of the Christianization of the lakeshore towns bordering Laguna de Bay.

Cainta's first evangelizer, Fray Alfonso de Alvarado, OSA, also planted the seeds of Catholicism in the towns of Pasig, Taytay and Bay. A small chapel of wood and nipa branches became the central place of worship of the Cainteños.


Would Jesus Allow You To Outgive His Own Mother?: The Legacy of Edsa Shrine PDF Print E-mail

Most people believe that the legacy of Edsa Shrine started with the People Power Revolution of 1986 (aka Edsa Revolution 1), but that is only partially true. The symbolism of Edsa Shrine, which has an international geopolitical and religious impact, started in July 13 1917, in a small village called Fatima, where Our Lady showed hell to the 3 visionaries and said "To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, and various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world."

On May 13, 1981, in St Peter’s Square, Pope John Paul II saw a little girl wearing a small picture of Mary of Fatima. Just as he bent over to recognize the girl, two shots rang out. A hired assassin, Mehmet Ali Agca, squeezed off two shots at the place where the Pope’s head had been just before he bent over to view the girl. Two more shots were fired and the Pope was hit.

His physical gesture to the young girl with the picture of “Our Lady of Fatima” saved the Pope’s life. If he had remained erect, “his skull would have been shattered by the first bullets out of Ali Agca’s gun.” That, coupled with the date, May 13th, the same date as the first apparition at Fatima in 1917, convinced the Pope that his life was somehow linked with the third Fatima prophecy.

Consequently on May 13, 1982, exactly a year after the assassination attempt, John Paul II was in Fatima, both to thank Mary for saving his life, and also to carry out a public act of consecration of the whole world, including Russia, to her Immaculate Heart. After this was accomplished, though, it became apparent that many of the world's bishops had not been informed in time.

The Pope decided to renew the consecration on March 25, 1984, the feast of the Annunciation, John Paul II duly renewed the act of consecration in St Peter's Basilica in Rome, with the world’s bishops including the Orthodox, before the statue of Mary from the site of the apparitions at Fatima which was specially brought for the occasion.

In that same year, the Pope, having no idea yet on how “Russia will be converted”, requested the bishops to have an international Marian year for 1985. Unfortunately, none responded except one, Jaime Cardinal Sin. Therefore, 1985 became the first national Marian year for the Philippines, celebrating her 2000 birthyear.

In February 1986, we had the famous peaceful People Power Revolution led by Cardinal Sin, which ousted a dictator president from power and indicated the end of tolerance to abuse of power, discretion and favoritism that led to graft and corruption. It is even said that the Blessed Virgin Mary showed herself to a marine soldier on the armored personnel carrier, at the height of the revolution, and told him “Do not harm my children” (her first documented apparition in Philippine history within Metro Manila) and Cardinal Sin even gave a humorous response related with that story. Our Lady of Fatima is immortalized twice on the mural inside Edsa Shrine, during her 2000th birthday celebration and another one showing her presence during Edsa Revolution 1. The whole world recognized the miracle of a nation united in prayer, since we know that this is not a total human endeavor. The Pope declared Pentecost 1987 to Feast of the Assumption 1988 as the first international Marian year. The Orthodox Church in Russia recognized the Philippine event phenomenon with Mary as Intercessor (where the iconic gift from the Russian Orthodox Church to the Philippines on October 18 1989, is enshrined in Edsa Shrine) and expected the soon collapse of Communism, as Poland, East Germany, and other communist countries were falling. On 1991, the totalitarian communist regime of the Soviet Union voted themselves finished.

In the local front, two days after the fleeing of Marcos, Bishop Gabriel Reyes and Cardinal Sin make a movement to establish the Edsa Shrine… ““At that corner, on an empty lot had stood two huge billboards of the Family Rosary Crusade, featuring the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the slogans, "The family that prays together stays together" and "A world at prayer is a world at peace." The felicitous coincidence could not but evoke the reality of Our Lady's presence at EDSA during the People Power Revolution.”” Edsa Shrine was consecrated on December 15 1989. This is the portion written in our history book(s).

Edsa Shrine is neither about President Corazon Aquino, Cardinal Sin nor Pope John Paul II (not even Bishop Villegas); it is about the promise of Fatima fulfilled, through the communal action of her Filipino children setting the example, leading to the peace that only Jesus can give. This is the brand story of EDSA SHRINE, which is unfortunately not written in our history books and relayed only as oral tradition.

When the victory comes, it will come through Mary – Pope John Paul II