Month: January 2014

Bl. Laura Vicuna

Bl. Laura Vicuna

Bl. Laura Vicuna loved her mother so much that she had to tell her to stop living with a man whom she is not married to.

Laura desired to offer herself to God for her mom’s conversion.

Before she died she told her mother her special secret: she had offered all her sufferings and even her life so that she would leave that man for ever.

And in tears, Mercedes, her mom, swore that she would.

On 22 January 1904 Laura died, certain that she had brought her mom back to the right path.

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Christmas goes on!

First, some pick-up lines:

  • Do you believe in love at first sight or should I walk by again?
  • Do you know why I can’t see any stars tonight? You outshine them.
  • Did you know you’re like my blood… you’re A+ and always in my heart
  • Did you just fart? Cause you blew me away!

Pick-up lines have been in the limelight of late. I’d like to think that this is so because of our attachment to symbols.

The bananas or blueberries, the CPR, the stars in the night, the blood, and yes, even the fart could be stretched a little further to symbolize how they remind us of the person whom we consider significant to us.

Or if there is no connection at all, we’ll try to find one.

A grade six student from Albay  named  Janela Arcos Lelis,[1] must have found that strong connection between the Philippine flag and the country it represents when she braved  the floodwaters as she tightly held the Philippine flag in a heroic act to save the national symbol from being swept away by the raging waters on that stormy day on July 26.

To recognize her act of bravery, a little Philippine flag was pinned on the left collar of her uniform. She was also given P 20,000 in cash for this selfless act.

More than two thousand years ago, a group of wise men found a connection between a star and the coming of the Great King who would rule them all.

That star, in my opinion, could have easily been forgotten if it did not lead the magi to their supposed destination. But it did what it ought to do. That explains why every year we take pains in thinking of what type of star to crown our Christmas tree.

Symbols are fundamentally important not because of what they are, but because of what they stand for. 

On that first Christmas night, the star was there to stand for the coming of God and to announce the reign of His Kingdom. 

May we, who also seek to discover God’s will for us,  become ourselves an outstanding sign of God’s loving compassion. So that when people, when our companions, when the young people we relate with see us, they will be reminded that Christmas is not an event which only happens once a year.

It goes on.

Merry Christmas!


[1] Philippine Daily Inquirer, December 30, 2011

Bl. Ceferino Namuncura

The feast of Bl. Ceferino Namuncura was coming; it was three years ago.

And we wanted to give the “Lily of the Pampas” a special tribute.

“We” refers of course to Br. Jomar (my partner in practical training) and I. We also asked Br. Jerome to provide us some help. He was then a brother studying philosophy in the nearby postnovitiate community. His technical skills in video editing, back then and even up to now, is unparalleled.

Then aspirant Angelo Badillo was asked to host the Salesian holiness segment.

We got the inspiration to showcase the life of Namuncura upon the prodding of Fr. Joe to make this young blessed a model among our aspirants and prenovices. After all, our context then was in the seminary.

Namuncura was of course an aspirant when he got terribly sick. He would have been a great Salesian if he went on…

But God had a better plan for him.

Here is the video on Namuncura:

I am re-posting this video to make his life known among our Bosconians in the Philippines since the relics of Namuncura (together with the other two Salesian blesseds: Vicuna and Marvelli) are making their visit in the country up until February 7.

Mary, Mother of God

I busied myself working on this image for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.

Initially, I wanted to pepper the image with selected Marian titles from the Litany of Loreto. But then, I decided against it since it would NOT just clutter the immaculate photograph of the Blessed Mother, but it will also make the concept altogether complicated.

Hence, I settled with the one-liner “Nanay” (“Mom” in English) to make the theological concept rather appealing to human (and Filipino!) emotions, for all of us have got a link with a mother.

And as we welcome the brand new year with a bang, let us also pause for a moment and remember the Mother who gave us her Son.