p197 double rainbow A day before the 14th anniversary of 9/11, another rare double rainbow shone brilliantly across Manhattan. It is the same reminder from the Lord of His message to Noah, for us to stay with Him during trying times. (Photo by Ben Sturner – 9/11-rainbow-of-hope).
p287-777 manhattan double rainbow The Yolanda Double Rainbow
The same rainbow I saw was seen by Archbishop John Du the day after Yolanda one month earlier, from his residence atop a hill, with a panoramic view of the devastation below. This is his story.
On the night before Yolanda came, he was praying the rosary with some priests amid a deadly calm. He thanked Mama Mary for sparing them. On the fifth mystery, Yolanda , the strongest typhoon of human history, came like an angel of death.
Next day, he emerged from the cathedral and saw thousands of corpses in the cathedral yard, which were dumped there by people who believed it was sacred ground. He walked a kilometer to the ruins of his residence atop a hill, which looked like ground zero of a nuclear blast, 6-inch thick walls torn like paper.
He was in tears, thinking that Mama Mary abandoned him, until a rainbow suddenly appeared, the same rainbow of hope of Noah and 9/11. Then, he knew Mama Mary did not abandon him. He knelt in prayer, asking forgiveness for his lack of faith.
It was total hope after total despair, blinding light after deep darkness. Seeing that rainbow, he decided to tell the people of Tacloban the message of hope. He commissioned Willy Layug, the noted Filipino Michelangelo, to carve the image of Our Lady of Hope, now displayed in the Tacloban cathedral. During his visit to Tacloban, amid a mini-storm that came and left suddenly, Pope Francis embraced that statue, as he uttered, “Ah, la Madonna, la Madonna.”
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777 JPEG oloh IMG_2039 B v2 CU The statue, commissioned to famed sculptor Willy Layug of Betis, Pampanga, the Filipino Michelangelo, portrays Mama Mary as the ‘Brown Madonna’, a Filipino version of the Blessed Virgin. The Santo Nino and a boy, a Yolanda survivor, are reaching out for each other.
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Photo above shows Pope Francis during his visit to Tacloban. Amid a mini-storm that came and left suddenly, he embraced the statue of Our Lady of Hope, saying, “Ah, la Madonna, la Madonna.”
This article was written on the anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima, September 20, 2015. News went viral in the Internet that, a day before, the eyes of the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes blinked several times. True or not to doubters and believers, we may now be in the midst of ‘tribulations’ prophesied in the Book of Revelation and the Third Secret of Fatima – an era of cataclysms, due to global warming as much as perhaps our sins. Yet the rainbow of hope will always be there to uplift us in the darkness and despair of our lives, as long as we return to the Lord and atone for our sins.