‘God favors the humble’ – priest

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VALENZUELA City, May 13, 2014— A priest explains the significance of apparitions of Our Lady in Fátima, Portugal in 1917 and how these show God’s special love for humble people.

“The Lord, through His Blessed Mother, has effected a reversal of roles… The high [was] humbled, the low exalted,”
Fr. Christopher Rivera, assisting priest of the Parish of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima, explained in his homily Tuesday during the feast of his shrine’s patroness.

Rivera pointed out that the Blessed Virgin has always appeared to ordinary people, often poor children.
“In Fátima, she appeared to three shepherd children: Lúcia Santos, and Francisco and Jacinta Marto,” the priest said.
Rivera noted that Mary, a simple girl from an obscure country village, had been handpicked by God the Father to be the mother of His Son.

“Mary’s ‘yes’ was what made the incarnation possible…God, through her, humbled himself by becoming flesh in order to save the world,” the priest said.

Altar of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima. It was paraded during the Edsa Revolution of 1986. (Photo: Ka Ruben)

“As the ‘woman clothed with the sun’, who John the Divine tells us in the Book of Revelation, battles the huge red dragon,” he added.

Rivera also quoted Luke 1:46-55, which became the basis of Mary’s prayer “Magnificat”.
Parts of this prayer read, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed…He has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate.”
The Marian apparitions in La Salette, France also involved shepherd children, Maximin Giraud and Melanie Calvat, and those of Lourdes a miller’s daughter, St. Bernadette Soubirous.

Rivera said, “What is amazing is that great changes and events happen every time the Blessed Virgin shows herself to the world. Our generation has been a witness to the fall of totalitarian regimes in the Soviet Union, Germany, Romania, Poland, and others…These, as well as the two World Wars, had been foretold by Our Lady of Fátima.” (Raymond A. Sebastián)

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