An Invitation to a National Pilgrimage
Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo
In our Pastoral Letter on “Shepherding and Prophesying in Hope” (July 9, 2006), for this Year of Social Concerns, we have stated the church’s mission to promote the Social Doctrine of the Church to guide our social relationships in justice and love. We encourage the reading and study of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church and the review of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, Nos. 290-329.
Why have we dedicated this Year of Social Concern to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as well as to the Sacred Heart of Jesus? Because history shows our human social concerns are also our Blessed Mother’s concern. We have always turned to Mary in times of difficulties, tragedies, crises, and of seeming hopelessness. In our prayer, as in the “Hail, Holy Queen,” we ask her to turn her eyes of mercy towards us, groaning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Mary knows what our country is going through at this point in time – in the political, social and economic order.
Let us recall what the CBCP has said before: “Our devotion to Mary should never lose sight of the present plight of the vast majority of our Filipino brethren who live lives unworthy of human beings. These poor and oppressed brethren of ours are devotes of Mary, too; and they call out to her, their Mother, to ease their sufferings and free them from their chains. And surely her maternal heart goes out to them. Her appeal comes to those of us who can help the helpless. Mary is the model of the perfect disciple of the Lord: “the disciple who builds up the earthly and temporal city while being a diligent pilgrim towards the heavenly and eternal city, the disciple who works for that justice which sets free the oppressed and for that charity which needed in the Philippines today are the works of justice and freedom from oppression. As the Church points out to us, our mission is “to be present in the heart of the world proclaiming the Good News to the poor, freedom to the oppressed, and joy to the afflicted.” (Ang Mahal Na Birhen, #96)
We support the initiative of the Lay Marian Organizations in calling for the THIRD NATIONAL PILGRIMAGE for Conversion, Consecration and Reparation to LIPA CITY on September 12, 2006 at the Shrine of the Mediatrix of all Grace.
It will be a Day of Prayer for our country, for the sanctification of our Clergy, of us Bishops and Priests and of the leaders of our nation. We have much to pray for to our Blessed Mother. We will accompany our prayer with C-O-R: Conversion, Life-Offering, and Reparation.
We pray that this National Pilgrimage on September 12 Feast of the Holy Name of Mary will give us the opportunity to experience our Marian devotion as our way towards personal and social transformation.
This Day of Prayer will be concluded with a concelebrated Mass with His Eminence, Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, the Bishops and Clergy, in attendance Let us be together in our “Pilgrimage of Faith” (Lumen Gentium, 58).
+ ANGEL N. LAGDAMEO
Archbishop of Jaro & CBCP President