Importance of Marian Shrine in the Catholic Church
The Marian Shrine in the Catholic Church translates what the Church stands for. The aim of the Catholic Church is to reach out to the whole world through evangelization. There is no one way to spirituality. The Marian Shrine is one of the organs that the Catholic Church has set up to help reach out to people and build their spirituality.
How Catholics can benefit from the Shrine
To get Spiritual blessings through the Marian Shrine you have to be present there, be active and be fully dedicated in prayers like the Novena. Doing so with a clean and dedicated heart, you attract spiritual blessings.
How Marian Shrine differs from others
A shrine generally refers to a particular place dedicated to a particular deity or ancestor. The Marian Shrine is different from others because of the name. If you remember going to a native shrine there is a kind of fear you feel; It is a place where you can go to elicit revenge. In the Catholic Church, Mother Mary contemplates our Lord Jesus Christ; we contemplate our Lord Jesus Christ in the face of our Mother Mary in the shrine. We see everything about our Lord Jesus Christ through the face of our Mother. That is the difference of the Marian Shrine to other shrines.
Some of the miracles associated with the Marian Shrine in Maryland
Whenever we pray, things happen because we call on God Almighty and he answers. So, the shrine is not different. People have received miracles; extra ordinary things happened to them. Several miracles have occurred here at the Marian Shrine. As the Chaplain, I have seen many people repent of their sins and return to God. I have seen so many people who were considering committing suicide jettison the idea on coming here. When they come to the shrine to pray and meditate they see the emptiness of life. At the Shrine you would be forced to meditate because it is a hallowed ground. It is like someone who goes to a grave yard and experience the urge to contemplate about his life. Many people have come here and forsake all evil. There are so many, but we cannot mention names. Here is a personal experience I had when I first came here. I observed that some bees usually pursue people out of the shrine. There was also this neck-less hen that laid about sixteen eggs by a corner. The hen would come out every night when we commence novena to the place we kept the gifts and offering for the Mass. It would move around before going back to the eggs. This was quite unusual. At a time some even suggested that the hen be killed. I said no, how can you kill something that is spiritual? You don’t know how it got there in the first instance. This hen had been there for more than six months. So, we started special prayers and miracles began to happen. One day, the eggs began to leave the place they were being hatched, came towards the altar and split open, oozing bad odour. After then the bees that used to pursue people anytime they came to the grotto to pray stopped. Again, there was this woman who came to me and said she had cancer. The doctor had told her that she stood a 50-50 chance of surviving the operation. She cried that she didn’t want to undergo the operation. She said she had a prompting in her spirit to fetch some Holy water from the Shrine and drink it. I said, ‘Go ahead.’ Going back to the hospital, the doctor, after examining her, apologized to her, saying the report they had earlier given her was a wrong diagnosis. There was no trace of cancer any more. So many of such miracles do happen but we cannot say all.
How the lockdown had affected regular devotions at the Marian Shrine
Just like every other activity all over the globe, the lockdown affected everything, including the regular prayers at the shrine. We pray that things will return to normal soon. We encourage people to stay at home and reach out to God with their hearts.
Home Devotions and Novena
Catholics must intensify their daily prayers and recite their rosaries on regular basis, not forgetting to reach out to the shrine. Where possible, we come together and pray. The month of May is dedicated to Mary. We should take our prayers more seriously because we have enough times to do so. We have tried reaching out to people through the social media, encouraging them to devote more time for Marian devotion, even online.
Our Lady of Fatima on COVID-19
It is not out of place to say Our Lady of Fatima predicted the coming of COVID-19. When you go through the massage of our Lady of Fatima, we see the call for repentance. This happened during the First World War in 1917. She warned the people to stop offending God and our Lord Jesus Christ, that if we don’t stop, the Second World War would come. And really, the Second World War came. We know there were three shepherdsJacinta, Francisco and Lucia. Francisco and Jacinta were killed during the Spanish flu epidemic that occurred then. Jacinta died in 1920. Even though she desired the Holy Eucharist, no one was able to offer her. Same thing happened to Francisco. There is an ongoing controversy about the origin of COVID- 19. Some biologists said it was discovered around the 1930’s as a new family of viruses. Some say 1968. So, why should that disease affect two of those Shepherd kids Our Lady visited? If we cannot see our Lady through these children who really received her blessings, and how we can conquer this virus, we would never learn from it. So our Lady had truly foretold it.
A Word of Caution
This pandemic is real. We should obey all the stipulated rules of hygiene, including washing our hands regularly and wearing face masks. We should stay at home and maintain physical distance. We are hoping for God to intervene in this current situation so that a cure can be found and the whole world would come out from it. The bible says only the living can serve God. The dead has nothing to do. So, I pray God will set us free so that we can now come back to our normal lives like before. We should also take advantage of this period to reflect on our lives. This situation has taught us to see life in a new different way