Thursday, October 13, 2011

TOCS Fiesta 2011

In 1917, Our Lady appeared to three shepherd children in the simple village of Fatima in Portugal. Her message is a call for prayer, conversion and penance.

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It's been 5 years since I last took an active participation in the preparations for our chapel's fiesta in honor of Our Lady of Fatima. The first 3 years since I used to have my image of Our Lady and St. Joseph join the procession, while the last 2 years I have participating in the Parish's October Devotion activities. It was a nice "homecoming" of sorts. When I was still in school, Our Lady was gracious enough to allow me to decorate her carroza and through this experience learn carroza floral arrangements.

Study: Carroza
The one that started it all...

Novena to Our Lady of Fatima

After each novena, it has been our chapel's practice to provide dinner to the priest and his party through the kindness of a host family (this duty is divided among the four communities composing TOCS). My family hosted the priest of the 2nd day novena. After dinner, my mom gave him a tour of our house and seeing our image of Fatima asked why it is not in the church. Since 2008, the last time I attended the procession of the chapel it has been a constant reflection for me why I would want my image to participate. When I was younger, I initially wanted to replace the image being used during the fiesta given that you cannot dress it, and I am used to having images of this kind. Now I know better.

My mom no longer need to ask me again...

Our Image of the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima at the TOCS chapel

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The Children of Fatima

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It is almost certain that we would not be celebrating the beatifications of Jacinta and Francisco Marto were it not for the apparitions which they experienced. Yes, every Catholic has the possibility to attain to the measure of sanctity which this honor represents. However, in practical terms it was the tutelage of an angel and the Blessed Mother that led these two young children to holiness in just a few short years. That tutoring began in the spring of 1916 with three visitations of the Guardian Angel of Portugal, apparitions which served as preparation for the visits the following year of the Mother of God.

Almost eight months had passed since the last apparition of the Angel. Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta continued to practice what the Angel had taught them, praying and offering sacrifices to the Lord. Lucia was now ten years old, Francisco would be nine in June and Jacinta had just turned seven in March, when on May 13th, 1917, they chose to pasture their sheep in a hilly depression owned by Lucia's father and known as the Cova da Iria, or Cove of Irene. It was there, with one exception, that the Blessed Virgin under the title of Our Lady of the Rosary appeared on six occasions in 1917, and a seventh time in 1920 (to Lucia alone).

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As important as the place and the time is the situation of the world. At that moment the First World War raged in Europe, introducing mankind to the most savage forms of warfare seen to that date. In far off Moscow Lenin prepared the revolution that would overturn the Russian social order in November 1917 and eventually engulf almost half the peoples of the earth. It was in that context that heaven condescending to earth to provide the antidote to the moral and social evils of the world - the message of Fatima. Taken from EWTN

October 9th, Fiesta

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Altar decorations

October has always been a rainy month, this year is no different. Thus when we arrived at the chapel on the morning of October 8th (our Chapel's fiesta is celebrated every 2nd Saturday of October) I was a bit surprised to be asked if we are going to proceed with the procession. The options I gave are 1) we proceed but we shorten the procession route and 2) if it will still continue to rain cats and dogs let's reschedule the procession tomorrow morning before the 7:30 am mass. As the hours go by the rain still show no signs of stopping but we just kept on preparing the church and the carroza. However at around 3 pm, even before the 4 pm Fiesta Mass the rains abated. The procession was held and the marshalls even decided to take a longer route saying "it's no longer raining and it's nice to see our neighbors come out."

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I remembered a conversation I was having while finishing the carroza decorations, one of the church goers helping out asked if we are still going to proceed. And my stand is proceed so I said "we have been doing this activity for years now, I think it will just be sad if we don't do it." Another one replied, "Yes, it's as if we are being tested. It just rained and we no longer want to continue." Our prayers were answered. Sometimes no matter the situation, no matter how bleak and hopeless we just need to stick by our prayer and our faith and believe with all our heart that things will turn out right...and it turns out right. Our Lady of Fatima, Mama Mary pray for us!

Fiesta Mass

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In his homily, our Parish Priest noted that in Our Lady's last apparition it was raining. It has been a rainy day so far for us, so what's different or new? It did not stop the devotees who flocked to Fatima and who were privileged to have witnessed the miracle of the sun in 1917. Why should the rains stop us now and dampen our spirits? The rains is a form of blessing.

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The Mass has ended. Singing "O Birhen ng Fatima," although I noticed that the marian image in the picture is different...

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Blessing of the images of Our Lady of Fatima

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Reunion of the various Block Rosary images of Our Lady of Fatima


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Our Lady of Fatima exiting the chapel, this image is really heavy. There are two bases, one on top of the other.

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Our Lady of Fatima, thank you!

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The carroza. Clean lines was my inspiration this year.

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Our Lady fixed on her carroza. Need to double check.

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Procession starts...

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Nice to see people carrying images of Our Lady, especially younger folks

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Mary as Our Lady of All Nations and Our Lady of the Rosary

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A procession in modern times.

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Banderitas still hang amidst the strong rains! This rain will definitely not stop us to show our love for Mama Mary

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Passing by Pleasant Mount School which is celebrating it's Foundation Day that day.

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Our Lady of Fatima appeared to Children in 1917. It's nice to see that children still flock her to this day, and it's something that I have already observed all these years.

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Waiting for the image to return

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To Jesus through Mary...

1 comment:

  1. Towards the end of the mass, the parish priest exclaimed, "Ngayon ko lang napansin, ang sosyal pala ng suot ng mga bata..."