VIRAL PHOTO NO. 1. Originally titled “Baybay (shore) Lady”. Unknown photographer. Borongan, Eastern Samar, Philippines. In case you have not seen it the first time, this photo went viral on the Internet a few days after super-typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) struck on November 8, 2013. Photo shows a lady in blue, believed to be Mother Mary, with a mammoth storm surge in the background. Note that the umbrella is steady in the storm winds. The anonymous photographer, people reported, said both the lady and the storm surge vanished into thin air after the photo was taken.
VIRAL PHOTO NO. 2. Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines. Photo shows the flood watermark two inches below the Tabernacle, which houses the Holy Eucharist at the Diocese Major Seminary. The watermark is the maximum height of the flood before it recedes. a great sign appeared in the sky a woman clothed with the sun the moon beneath her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her Child she gave birth to a Son destined to rule all nations in utter rage the serpent waged war against the rest of her offsprings those bearing witness to the Son born of her womb Revelation 11:1-6, 14-17 ‘YOLANDA ROSARIES’ FOR LEYTE-SAMAR 30,000 Yolanda Rosaries, blest by Pope Francis during his visit to the Philippines, were given to survivors of the super-typhoon in Samar and Leyte. The first batch of six sacks or around 15,000 was given out by Archbishop John Du of Palo immediately after the tragedy. The second batch of another 15,000 followed, given out before Holy Week 2015 to the Tacloban-Palo and Borongan dioceses, housing beneficiaries of the Philippine Red Cross and CORDAID, fishing villages around Borongan bay, and the St. Anthony Pilgrim Center in Sulangan, Eastern Samar.
The Papal blessings of the rosaries were arranged by Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle in Manila and by Palo Archbishop John Du in Tacloban. The Yolanda Rosaries, given out to the poor and to survivors of Yolanda, are considered as a ‘Disaster Game Changer’. The goal is to proliferate Marian devotion to avert future disasters.
In Punta Maria, in Borangan Bay, seven elderly women prayed the rosary everyday in a makeshift chapel. It was in the direct path of super-typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan), yet there were no casualties and storm surge, although a few houses near shore were destroyed. The same case happened in Ando Island, also in Borongan Bay, where women had an active rosary brigade.
The remote coastal village of Sulangan, Eastern Samar, is a pilgrim center for devotees to St. Anthony of Padua. In June, about 10,000 pilgrims converge every year from as far as Cebu, Bohol, Antique, and Bicol to the church, which is noted for miraculous healings of the sick. Also on the direct path of Yolanda, Sulangan had only three casualties, three senior citizens who refused to seek refuge in the church. In nearby towns, including Guiuan, hundreds died from the storm surge. Almost all of the roofs of houses in Sulangan were destroyed but precious lives were saved. Samareños attribute the safety of Sulangan and Borongan from Yolanda to devotion to the Blessed Virgin and Saint Anthony.
In Borongan, this author also interviewed on camera a student, a housewife and a teacher, who had a common story. At the height of Yolanda, they saw a Lady near shore as a storm surge was approaching. The student even run towards the Lady to warn her of the oncoming storm surge. As in the viral photo above, both the Lady and the storm surge vanished. There are many more undocumented stories of how the Lord spared those devout to Him and Our Lady.
The people who helped in the Yolanda Rosary project included Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, head of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Vic Cusi of Lions Caloocan City, the Family Rosary Crusade, the RVM sisters, UNILAB, Philippine Airlines, and a few individual donors requesting anonymity.
PHASE 2 OF THE YOLANDA ROSARIES PROJECT
During the distribution of rosaries, it was noticed that the 30,000 rosaries hardly made a dent. Phase 2 is targeting another 6,000 rosaries for Philippine Red Cross formerly-homeless re-settlers in Eastern Samar (only 200 were given in Phase 1), and 10,000 more for pilgrims in Sulangan for its June 13 festival. Another 30,000 to 50,000 rosaries will hopefully be raised. The target is a rosary in every hand that can pray when new Yolandas threaten the Philippines. The Yolanda Rosary Movement hopes to spread to Cebu, Bohol, Antique, Bicol, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Compostella Valley, scenes of past disasters, and other new places. Right now, a non-stop 24/7 rosary-praying group has been formed in Tacloban City, where Yolanda claimed thousands of victims. The Filipino’s response to disaster is prayer, and the Yolanda Rosary Movement is gathering momentum.
Depending on how many donors can reach out to help, it is hoped that the distribution of Yolanda Rosaries will be a continuing endeavor. For those who want to help, or have questions, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org MIRACLE AT HIROSHIMA – The Power of the Rosary Decades before Yolanda, the power of the rosary was already manifested. The Third Secret of Fatima predicts the possibility of a nuclear holocaust if Man does not change his sinful ways. It cites a Man-made invention which could be an instrument of global cataclysm. At 2:45 a.m. on August 6, 1945, the very first nuclear bomb of human history exploded over Hiroshima, Japan, ushering in the nuclear age. It was used against a city of innocent civilians rather than a military installation. 100,000 died instantly, and a total of half a million died later of lingering radiation sickness causing cancer in the next few years.
It was at Hiroshima that the power of the rosary against cataclysm was manifested. The Church of Our Lady’s Assumption, run by 8 German Jesuits, was situated 8 blocks or 1 kilometer from ground zero. For a few kilometers, not a single building stood after the blast, except the Jesuit house where they were praying the rosary every day. In fact, they were praying it during the blast. For years, scientists, who conducted hundreds of interviews, could not find a logical explanation. The miracle at Hiroshima is a message that the God of Punishment is also the God of Forgiveness. His anger can be appeased by prayer. The rosary can turn back hurricanes and earthquakes. The rosary can make the Lord change His mind to punish Man. This is the rationale behind the Yolanda Rosaries.
PROMISES TO THOSE WHO PRAY THE ROSARY St. Louis de Montfort said the best and fastest way to Jesus is through His Mother, whom He could not refuse at the Wedding at Cana. Mother Mary is ‘the channel of God’s grace to us’. The prayer Memorare goes “… never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help or sought your intercession was left unaided …”.
In chapter four of his book True Devotion to Mary, St. Montfort writes about the promises of Our Lady to those who pray the rosary –
- Special protection, as in disasters, as in Hiroshima and Punta Maria;
- Grace for sanctification and virtue, increased holiness, strong faith vs temptations;
- “A powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin and defeat heresies”;
- Grace to do good works, to attain God’s abundant mercy, and to avoid worldly vanities;
- A peaceful death in the grace of the Lord;
- Safety from misfortunes and accidents;
- Freedom from despair and depression, from material and spiritual want;
- Grants for special requests or favors asked for;
- Assistance from the communion of saints;
- Increased intimacy with Jesus and Mary;
- Assurance of salvation, subject to state of grace