There was resounding joy and happiness in the air last weekend at St. Agnes Catholic Church, Maryland, Lagos when the people witnessed the blessing of the 700-seater Marian Shrine pavilion by Most Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins, Catholic Archbishop of Lagos. The ceremony saw priests, religious and lay faithful in the Archdiocese, as well as friends and well-wishers turn out in their numbers to grace the momentous event. Expressing his delight on the occasion, Very Rev. Msgr. Philip Hoteyin, Chaplain, Marian Shrine, gave thanks to God for the blessing of the pavilion where the people would sit comfortably when they come to venerate the Blessed Mother Mary, as he added that it would continue to be a memorable occasion in the life of the people.
Stating that Jesus is ready to do all that they ask for through the intercession of His Mother, Msgr. Hoteyin urged Nigerians not to lose hope in the country, adding that all things are possible with God. According to him, “Many people are saying, ‘oh we are tired.” How can we be tired when we have God on our side? Our Mother Mary is able. But we should not forget that without her, Jesus will never come. So, two of them must be together. “Many people don’t want to hear about Mary, but she’s very important. How can you have Jesus without Mary? This is a new covenant, the old one was defeated. Through Satan, Adam and Eve were defeated, but now, through Mary and Jesus, we have a new everlasting covenant.”
For Very Rev. Fr. Anthony Fadairo, the Parish Priest, it was a beautiful and joyful occasion, witnessing the completion and blessing of the Marian Shrine Pavilion. Fr. Fadairo said the structure is a thing of beauty to enhance the shrine, as the people are happy they started and completed the building, adding that the Archbishop who commissioned it has also blessed it to the glory of God. He thanked God for all He is doing for the people, as he urged them to continue to be devoted to Mother Mary, assuring them that they will surely get answers to their prayers any time they call upon God through the intercession of His Blessed Mother. While blessing the pavilion, Archbishop Martins thanked God for His mercies and goodness, as he said that the kindness of the Lord has brought the people to witness the blessing of the pavilion.
The Archbishop thanked the people that God used to build the structure, including the chaplain, the parish priest, the donors and all who have ensured that what they started came to successful completion, praying that God will reward them abundantly and grant them all the blessings of the righteous. He said the pavilion has added value to the Marian Shrine, adding that the gathering is a testimony to the people’s love for Mother Mary, the Ark of the new Covenant, through whom the saviour of the world came into the world and humans shall attain salvation and eternal life.