BOCAUE, Bulacan, Sept. 27, 2016 – In line with the commemoration of the feast of Our Lady of Mercy last Sept. 24, the Hospicio de San Juan de Dios, which is being managed by the Brothers of Mercy of St. John of God in Igolot, Bocaue, Bulacan, sponsored a simple yet memorable celebration on Sunday.
The day started with a holy Mass led by Fr. Charles Viray of the Servants of Charity. In his homily, the prelate explained that “we all need God’s mercy because we are all sinners.”
In need of God’s Mercy
According to the priest, no one should boast of anything for everyone exists through His mercy. It is the faithful’s duty, he stressed, to share God’s mercy to others through forgiveness and by showing patience. “Pray that we may have merciful heart, hands, eyes, so that God’s mercy may flow from us,” said Viray. “Show God’s mercy by smiling.”
After the Mass, the participants offered flowers to the Blessed Virgin. After the blessing of the new image of Our Lady of Mercy, a short program followed where BCDM representatives, the hospice staff, and the patients showcased their talents. The performances included a heartwarming story-telling by a blind young man, Victor Angelo David; a song number by Elizabeth Magturo; and a dance number by Rosalie Duca. The Mercedarian sisters also prepared a song number and shared some messages to the participants. Those who attended the celebration also received bags of goodies.
Participants of the event included Mercedarian Sisters from Berriz, Mercedarian Sisters from Barcelona and Mercedarian dela Caridad, members of Baliwag Council for Deaf Ministry as well as some hospice sponsors, benefactors, staff, and other guests.
The miraculous Our Lady of Mercy
In an interview with Br. Raymond M. Marquez F.M., prior of the Brothers of Mercy of St. John of God in Bulacan, shared that the apparition of Our Lady of Mercy happened “to save the slaves.” According to him, this is also the reason why the image holds a broken chain, depicting freedom from slavery. The congregation started its devotion to Mary after St. John Grande Roman, a prior in Jerez, witnessed the healing of a paralyzed child whom he touched with the said image of the blessed Mother.
Meanwhile, Marquez told CBCPNews that the hospice was established in Bulacan on July 1, 1989 by Br. Francis Joseph F.M. To date, they take care of abandoned psychiatric patients, 103 males in Igolot and 32 females in Bustos, most of whom were saved from the streets, while some were referred by social workers. They also have an apostolate for hearing-impaired individuals.
The hospice mainly sources its funds through donations and valuable help from benefactors. For donations, interested parties may contact the hospice at +63 916-925-2804 or email them at email@example.com. (Myraine Policarpio / CBCPNews)