100 Miracles of the Blessed Mother: Book Launch in the Philippines
Text by Myra Nograles, images by Vicky Araneta & Marizel Arambulo “Who is She that comes forth as the morning rising fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in battle array?" It was a bright first day of October morning that greeted us legionaries, parish staff and guests. Today we were gathered for a special book launch event in commemoration of the 100th year of the Legion of Mary established in Dublin, Ireland by Frank Duff. The book’s title said it all “100 Miracles Of Our Blessed Mother”. This book was published, co-authored and edited by Elizabeth (Betsy) Jance von Atzigen. Betsy is the elected president of the Legion of Mary, Zurich Comitium in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, correspondent for the Legion Curia in Bergen, Norway and president of the Legion Praesidium in Wil, Canton St, Gallen. Present in the event were six co-authors who shared with us firsthand their life stories and miracles as published in the book. To make the event possible, the program was sponsored by two Praesidia – the Legion of Mary (LOM) of the Miraculous Medal and the Legion of Mary of the Mother of the Holy Eucharist of the St. Alphonsus Mary de Liguori Parish (SAMLP) in Magallanes, Makati City. Ms. Gilette Yupangco was the over-all LOM program coordinator and Ms. Margie Ramos, a member of the LOM of the Mother of the Holy Eucharist was the program emcee. Ms. Novette Sto. Domingo acting president of the LOM of the Miraculous Medal Praesidia opened the program with a welcome speech to honor the guests. Among the guests were Legionaries from the Praesidiums of Mother of Christ and Mystical Rose of Parañaque City. The invocation was given by Ms Ibet Medalla vice president of the LOM Mother of the Holy Eucharist. Present also were Mr. Tony Narciso head of the SAMLP Parish Pastoral Council who gave the closing message, Ms. Remedios Moreno Head of the Ministry of Greeters, Collectors, Rev Monsignor Claro Matt Garcia, parish priest of St. Alphonsus Mary de Liguori Parish. A special guest was Gen Edgardo Aglipay who accompanied his wife Mrs Marinette Yan Aglipay, one of the six featured co-authors. Ms Betsy Jance von Atzigen gave a short background of the book and the Legion of Mary organization in a video message. This was followed by an inspirational message by SAMLP parish priest Rev Monsignor Claro Matt Garcia. He spoke about his previous pilgrimage to Ireland where he was fortunate to visit the place of Frank Duff, founder of the Legion of Mary worldwide that now has a membership of 10 million legionaries. Amazing! The message was loud and clear. In the words of St Maximillan Kolbe “never be afraid of loving Mother Mary too much because you can never love her more than Jesus did.” Our Lady of Piat, Cagayan, Philippines “We fervently requested Our Lady that is is our Papa now who needs her powerful intercession for his recovery (from a massive stroke rendering him half paralyzed). My spouse, Albert, with strong faith, prayed for Papa to walk again! Shortly after the visit to Our Lady of Piat, Papa recovered and was able to slowly walk again.” Rebecca Sancho Torres Blessed Mother “More than a decade ago, my then 24 year old son, Joseph, had a serious car accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. His doctor said his recovery may be slow and his ability to walk would take months. While in the hospital, 10 legionaries visited and prayed over him, asking for the intercession of our Blessed Mother. After 3 weeks of confinement and physical therapy, Joseph was able to walk with a walker!” Flordeliza Alinea Our Lady of Lourdes, France “My family was swimming in the pool at home … I took care of the younger girls, aged 5 and 3 who couldn’t swim but wore their inflated rings … Five minutes later, I checked on the youngest one and saw her floating … without her life vest on and was floating unconscious. Her nails were turning black and every second that passed seemed like hours to me. I pleaded as I knelt in front of the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes next to the pool to intercede for my daughter. Within a few minutes, she coughed out the water that she swallowed. It was indeed a miracle! God immediately answered my prayers through Mama Mary’s intercession. Our daughter was alive!” Marinette Yan Aglipay Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico “And as I learned more about Our Lady of Guadalupe, depicted as pregnant, embodiment of motherhood, and is known for miracles, I went to her more often, imploring intercession for another child because I have been having difficulty conceiving again due to a medical concern. And she answered my prayer! A couple of years later, I gave birth to another beautiful baby girl. We named her Maria Kristine, in honour of the goodness of Our Lord Jesus Christ through Mama Mary.” Marites Bautista Our Lady of Penafrancia, Naga City, Philipipines “… one day, I would be told that I had a most dreaded ailment called lung cancer. I cried. Ina’s (Our Lady of Penafrancia) miraculous ‘manto” kept me hopeful and trusting in her Son’s mercy as it enveloped me with indescribable warmth whenever I pray the novena. It kept me company under my pillow during overnight chemotherapy sessions. The results of subsequent PET/CT scans now numbering 7 have given me enough reason to believe that I am on the way to full healing and complete remission from the Big C.” Malou Ferrolino Punzalan Our Lady of Monserrat, Spain “At the Monserrat Monastery … to complete the (Marian) pilgrimage, we were able to hear mass … and were able to venerate the miraculous statue of the Black Madonna - La Moreneta. … I lost track of time. By the time I walked out of the shop (of religious items and souvenirs) the fog was so thick, I could not see a meter away from where I was standing. I couldn’t find anyone I knew! Anxious but confident … I was desperately praying the whole time to Our Lady to please help me find my destination … I showed my cable car ticket to the non- English speaking traffic enforcer who gestured to me to follow the railings going down to the station”. Ma. Crizelda Arambulo Gen Edgardo Aglipay had also a long sharing on his own devotion to our Blessed Mother since he was young, about how he and his wife met, dated, married and raised a family. What is compelling about the book is that it gives a face to the “humanness” of humanity. Man in his direst of circumstances, believer, or non-believer, will always call out to the “universe” to his one true omnipotent God to help him. Our Almighty Father in his great wisdom and mercy does not fail him. He sends help in the way that He thinks is most fit and appropriate to the occasion. He sends us his Mother!! Our Blessed Mother who cannot refuse her children, who has a soft spot for her priests, her legionaries and her devotees is ever ready & present to run to our assistance. Hers is the “real” face of all the stories. The intimate relationship with our Blessed Mother shown in all co-authors’ testimonies are the real miracles of the book. It is the love and compassion of our Blessed Mother that is the common weave in all the stories. There is no miracle too great or too insignificant that She will not acquiescence to. Let us therefore allow the stories in the 100 Miracles of the Blessed Mother to inspire us all to call on our Blessed Mother who waits in eternity in the wings of life for us. “Pray for us who have recourse to thee.” A complimentary book in English or German may be obtained from firstname.lastname@example.org. Contribution towards the publication and shipping costs is appreciated.