NOTICE: I am a practicing Catholic, active and in good-standing with my local parish, who professes faith and loyalty to the Church and our Holy Father. This "little work" is purely a personal expression of that faith and loyalty, and not an officially recognized ministry in the Diocese of Honolulu. ~ Peter

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Pilgrim Statue & Holy Relics Visitation: Vargas Residence, 10/15/2016

A public reminder for all Americans to pray for the spiritual and moral needs of our country.
With the Presidential Election looming less than a month away, urgent prayer is a must!

Just a couple of days ago - October 13th - it was the anniversary of the stupendous miracle of the "dancing sun" at Fatima, Portugal, which occurred 99 years ago. The date also signals the annual America Needs Fatima nationwide Rosary Rally Campaign held in many public venues and private homes throughout the US. For a group of us Kailua parishioners at St. Anthony of Padua Church, the date also means that one of our own - Auntie Patty Vargas - will be hosting another prayer rally in her family's driveway, to be followed by a delicious luncheon; it's become an eagerly anticipated annual tradition for Auntie Patty's large circle of family and friends.

Photos from the Vargas Family's public Rosary Rally.  Prayers were held in the driveway
facing the busy road for the public to see; a luncheon followed in the home.

So, as with the prior year Vargas Family rallies, I received a call from Auntie Patty who, again, invited my ministry's pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima and my Sacred Relics of the Fatima Seers - Blesseds Jacinta & Francisco; Sr. Lucia; and Bl. Alexandrina of Balasar (the "fourth seer" of Fatima) too - to be a part of the rally. These devotional objects have been coming with me to this event for the past five years so I guess I can safely say that they've become a welcomed part of the tradition, with Auntie Patty and some of the regular participants looking forward to seeing the relics and the pilgrim statue each year.

My pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima flanked by statues and relics of Blesseds
Francisco, Jacinta, & Alexandrina of Balasar.

It goes without saying that the Rosary Rally was again a beautiful and meaningful experience. At least for me, from the start there was a unique "vibe" in the air - an intense anticipation that something different, but good, was going to happen. The significance of this presentiment became clear when the prayer/song handout I was holding became mysteriously covered with escarchas during the Rosary Prayer! It somewhat startled me because at one moment I was looking at a plain white sheet of paper then, in the next, it was instantly covered with many tiny bluish-silver sparkles! I immediately understood that it was a sign that the gates of Heaven had opened for our Blessed Mother to come through, and that she was now among us in a very real way, although we couldn't see her.

... and even during the luncheon that followed, as I sat eating and talking with other participants, I noticed a few peoples' faces randomly sprinkled with golden flakes (it wasn't make-up)... and it was sort of amusing and frustrating, at the same time, that they were completely oblivious to the fact that parts of their faces were dotted with gold... and that Our Lady had descended from above to bless them in such a special way.

Left Photo: A golden flake on my finger; one of many escarchas I picked-up off the floor in my home.
Center Photo: A cluster of silver escarchas that manifested on a prayer sheet during the Rosary Rally.
Right Photo: One of a few golden escarchas that appeared on my left hand; visible on my thumb.

Lastly, I left Kailua humbled and grateful, and still on a spiritual high from this afternoon's event and its accompanying heavenly favors. Whatever grace we received at the rally was apparently extra-powerful because it extended beyond the Vargas home - when I reached my studio in Kaimuki, I discovered more gold escarchas scattered on the floor and furniture throughout my living room, kitchen, and bedroom. It was overwhelming, to say the least, but in a good way.

So with 2017 being the 100th anniversary of the great Fatima events, I'm anticipating that next year's public Rosary Rally will be even more significant and Holy Spirit-filled. I'm personally excited and I'm certain it'll be an exciting year for all Fatima devotees and the rest of the Church, as well.  I can hardly wait!

Friday, October 7, 2016

St. Anthony of Padua Church - Our Lady of the Rosary Feast Day Procession, 10/7/2016

"Do not forget that God is more powerful than all of the evil in the world...
The world is on the edge of catastrophe.  Cleanse your hearts through prayer.
The only way is through God."

~ Our Lady of Kibeho, 1981

Today - the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary - is a significant anniversary in the Catholic Church. Very few people, nowadays, know what this feast actually signifies - it was instituted by Pope St. Pius V (d. 1572) to honor Our Lady after a Catholic naval coalition defeated a much larger Islamic fleet during the Battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571. The holy Pontiff, being well-aware of the disadvantages the Christian navy faced, called for the praying of the Holy Rosary by all of Europe to invoke our Holy Mother's intercession in bringing about victory for the Catholic forces.

"Love one other.  Forgive each other.  Make peace because if you do not
make it there will be no peace. Never turn to violence."

~ Our Lady of Cuapa, 1980

As history records, after a five hour battle the Catholic coalition proved victorious, thus, effectively preserving western Christian culture against Islamic domination. The feast was originally called the Feast of Our Lady of Victory but it was changed in the 20th Century to its present name.

Feast Day fellowship dinner at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Kailua.
[click on each photo to view larger images]

It all just goes to show how powerful the Holy Rosary is as a weapon; how through this hallowed prayer, the Holy Virgin has aided the Church (and the rest of the world) against dangers of all sorts throughout history. This is why whenever, and wherever Our Lady appears on earth, she almost always carries a rosary and/or encourages that we pray it as a way of ending evil or preventing it. As such, my parish decided to pay tribute on this Feast Day to five of Our Lady's church-approved apparitions, via another candlelight rosary procession. Over a hundred parishioners - parents and children - showed up for this event.

"I am the Queen of Heaven, who prays for the conversion of sinners,
and I wish you to do the same.”

~ Our Lady of Champion, 1859 

So tonight was a somewhat different procession for us - we did something unconventional during our Rosary Prayer. Instead of meditating on the traditional Rosary Mysteries, we substituted five of Our Lady's apparitions: Champion, Wisconsin (USA); Fatima (Portugal); Banneux (Belgium); Cuapa (Nicaragua); and Kibeho, Rwanda (central Africa). Our procession included stops at five special "Pilgrimage Stations" where female students from St. Anthony School became living representations of the Marian apparitions we featured.

The "Living Pilgrimage Stations"
(compare the images of Our Lady's apparitions with their corresponding living representations)


Above (L to R): The 1st and 2nd Stations (Our Lady of Champion & Fatima)
Below (L to R): The 3rd, 4th, and 5th Stations (Our Lady of Banneux, Cuapa, & Kibeho)

At each station, we encouraged our participants to imagine themselves on pilgrimage to the particular miraculous site where we narrated the history of the apparition; summarized Our Lady's message; and offered the Our Father and decade of Hail Marys to follow in response to a directive the Virgin delivered. All of the girls who portrayed the Blessed Mother did a great job in their respective roles and a couple of them were so convincing, it left many of the participants deeply impressed and spiritually moved (I had goosebumps!).  It was all BEAUTIFUL and AWESOME!

Procession participants gathered and praying at two of the Pilgrimage Stations.

At the end of the procession. the festivities continued with a potluck dinner in our parish hall, where lighthearted conversation and fellowship flowed. People discussed their positive experience of the procession, as well as just caught up with their fellow parishioners who they hadn't seen in the past week.

Video: Our parishioners ending our procession in the main
church building with a hymn to Our Lady.

In closing, this is the 4th consecutive year our parish has held a Rosary Procession... and I must say - this one was one of the best, given the novelty of our living Marian apparitions! May Our Lady's different messages relayed tonight at our Pilgrimage Stations take root in the hearts of our parishioners and bear abundant good fruits in our lives.  God bless us all.

"Do not offend the Lord our God any more, because He is already so much offended."

~ Our Lady of Fatima, 1917

Sunday, October 2, 2016

A Special Invitation: Kailua Candlelight Rosary Procession - October 7th, 2016

In just about a week, St. Anthony of Padua Church in Kailua is, once again, celebrating the hallowed Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary with another candlelight rosary procession, followed by a potluck dinner (please kindly bring a favorite dish).

This time around, we're doing something new - the theme for our parish's trademark "living" Rosary Stations will be Marian apparitions, which is gearing up to be both interesting and inspirational.  Refer to the flyer below for details. All are welcome!

For directions to St. Anthony of Padua Church in Kailua, please click here.