JARO, Iloilo, Feb. 6, 2015 — Who else can show us how to be poor and love the poor but Mary?
This is precisely how Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo explained the role of the Blessed Virgin in the recent Year of the Poor celebration of the “Jaro Fiesta” on Feb. 2.
For the poor, with the poor
“Mary’s special love for the poor holds a special meaning in this Year of the Poor, as we usher in the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord,” explained the prelate who stressed the context of the nine-year spiritual journey set by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
To emphasize the archdiocese’s pastoral priority this year, Lagdameo said: “For the Jaro Fiesta, we have chosen Our Lady of Candles as model of love for the poor. The family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Egypt and in Nazareth was known to be an example of charity and compassion toward their immediate neighborhood and community.”
“The Church has always been poor from the beginning and throughout history… It is in order to serve the poor, work for the poor, be with the poor and deliver the poor from inhuman, unjust and unworthy poverty,” he added.
The prelate also led the faithful in consecrating the Archdiocese of Jaro to the Blessed Virgin Mary that day.
In an interview with CBCP News, Lagdameo explained that the act of total consecration to the Blessed Virgin may be made anytime. But, since it was the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, the act of consecration was renewed under the invocation of Our Lady of Candles.
“The act of total consecration to Holy Mary that we have renewed today takes on special significance when we consider the recent visit of the Holy Father who not only encouraged us and consoled us with his presence but also challenged us in our mission,” Lagdameo said.
The Church celebrates the feast of the Presentation of the Lord forty days after Christmas day. It was also known as “Candlemas” or “Candelaria” since the blessing and procession of candles is included in feast’s liturgy. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas/CBCPNews)