In celebration of the 100 Years of the Apparition of the Our Lady of Fatima, the World Marian Congress (WMC) took place last August 18-19, 2017 at the Ballroom of the Summit Circle Hotel, Cebu City with the theme: “Our Lady at Fatima: Prophecies of Tragedy or Hope?”
“The messages of Fatima are messages of hope,” affirmed Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo in his talk Our Lady of Fatima: Our Hope and Refuge.
He explained people have often seen the messages as a doomsday prophecy: announcing the arrival of wars, pestilence, and other catastrophes if the Blessed Virgin Mary’s instructions were not heeded. He reiterated that the messages are to be seen as how the Blessed Virgin Mary intended the messages to be received.
Archishop Lagdameo underscored the maternal instincts of the Blessed Virgin Mary who seeks to defend and prepare Her children–mankind–in an on going spiritual warfare. Thus, when taken in this light, the messages become that of hope especially after the Blessed Mother Herself assured the seers–then ordinary children of Fatima, Portugal: Francisco, Jacinta, and Lucia–that in the end Her Immaculate Heart will triumph.
To drive his point, he then revisited many of the messages of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the late Sr. Lucia and the recently canonized Sts. Francesco and Jacinta.
Joining him were other speakers that gave their insights on the Messages of Fatima during WMC, namely: Bishop Emeritus of Novaliches Teodoro Bacani, D.D. who gave a talk on Filipino Catholics Responding to the Call of Our Lady; Ozamis Diocese’s Br. Wendell Talibong with two talks Mary and the Satanic Forces: Is the Devil Real? and Fighting the Devil with Our Lady; Dr. Rene Josef Bullecer in his talk Revisiting the Messages of Our Lady of August 19, 1917; and Fr. Melvin Castro on Mary’s Prophecies and Its Relevance to Our Current Times.
The two-day Congress ended with a Eucharistic Celebration lead by Fr. Christian Daok, RCJ, who challenged the almost 400 guests and participants to be Marian by living out the virtues of Mary in one’s daily life. A blessing of the oils and sacramentals followed the Mass using the Old Rite for Blessing Religious Items.
Initially organized by Sanguniang Layco ng Pilipinas Visayas’ Dr. Rene Josef Bullecer, the World Marian Congress is a series of Congresses that started October of 2016 and will end October 2017. The Daughters of St. Paul, Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of the Poor, Legion of Mary, Catholic Womens League and other organizations and congregations have now joined WMC. It was organized to address the lack of conferences or congresses focused on the Blessed Virgin Mary in the area.
The St. Maximillian Mary Kolbe Parish’s Media Apostolate Consultant and PPC Chair Willard Grageda and Lay Coordinator Glenn Virgil Velasco were the only delegates coming from the Diocese of Novaliches in the said event. (~Glenn Velasco, MI)