TACLOBAN City, Oct. 22, 2016 – Despite the natural tendency to pray for one’s own concerns and problems first, a bishop reminds the faithful to also remember others’ intentions when praying.
“(W)e are asked to pray for others not just for ourselves or our own family,” said Naval Bishop Filomeno Bactol, D.D. during a Mass in honor of Our Lady of Fatima, Oct. 13.
Sharing the Blessed Virgin’s message in Fatima, Portugal in 1917, Bactol reminded the faithful to offer small sacrifices for sinners and to repeat often the short prayer: “Oh, my Jesus this is for love, for my conversion and for sinners in the world.”
The bishop, who was once a parish priest of Sto. Niño Church in Tacloban, also discussed Mary’s message about being the Lady of the Rosary.
“Mary also said, ‘I am the Lady of the Rosary, I have come to warn the faithful to amend their lives and to ask for pardon for their sins,’” he said, quoting the Virgin Mary’s words to the child seers Lúcia Santos, Jacinta, and Francisco Marto
Coming with this message is a warning, said the bishop. “We must not offend the Lord anymore because he has already been grievously offended,” the prelate quoted the Blessed Virgin as saying.
Bactol likewise touched on the existence of hell, nothing how Mary showed the children a vision of the eternal flames.
Call to conversion
“Many did not believe anymore in the existence of hell, so Mary showed to them how hell looks like where souls and devils, all … transparent with fire coming out from their eyes, mouth, and ears, and all were cursing, shrieking, and shouting in pain due to endless heat and pain in hell,” described the prelate.
“The Blessed Mother said, and this is true. This was the message that she gave in July 30, 1937, ‘Nowadays people do not believe in hell anymore.’ That’s why we are not afraid to commit sin anymore,” he added.
“The significance of these messages is for our conversion whoever we are. Whether bishops, pope, priest, and lay people, we need to convert ourselves because we are all sinners,” stressed Bactol.
The devotion to Our Lady of Fatima is among the oldest practised by Palo locals.
On Oct. 13, 1917, Our Lady appeared for the last time in Fatima, Portugal in what is believed to be the most widely witnessed miracle when the sun was said to dance in the sky. Between 30,000 to 70,000 people claimed to have seen the extraordinary solar activity that day. (Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros / CBCP News)