Priest: Women, like Mary, have ‘inner strength’

Priest: Women, like Mary, have ‘inner strength’
Young girls participate in the festivities on the feast of the Mother of Perpetual Help in Sitio Martha, June 27, 2017. FR. NEIL BADILLO, OFM

LO-OK, Lamitan City – Hardly the so-called weaker sex, women like the Blessed Virgin Mary are strong, particularly during the tough times.

This is what Fr. Neil Badillo, OFM said during a Mass in Sitio to celebrate the Feast of the Mother of Perpetual Help on June 27.

“While men are physically stronger, women, like Mother Mary, possess that inner strength which could be a source of encouragement and hope in time of crisis like this,” he explained to a mostly female congregation.

Violent past

During his homily, the missionary priest also highlighted the “powerful maternal instinct of Mary to protect her children”.
Badillo’s message proved to be timely as military men reportedly surrounded the vicinity as the alert warning for possible rebel attacks was raised.

The people of Sitio Martha had their share of violence when rebels attacked the community on May 14, 2001.

Grace Buenaventura, a pastoral worker, who once lived in Martha, recounted the incident: “I could hear the whizzing of bullets as I ran for my life. As a pregnant mother, I had a miscarriage after that horrifying incident. I decided to transfer residence to Lo-ok.”

The said incident was followed a month later by the Lamitan siege and the beheading of at least 10 men, including a lay minister in Brgy. Balobo in August 2001.

2 celebrations for Perpetual Help

Sitio Martha is one of the 14 chapels in Lo-ok and one which honors the Mother of Perpetual Help as their patroness.

The locals celebrate her feast on two occasions: on Dec. 15 for economic reasons since December is the month of harvest, and on June 27, the liturgical feast assigned to the Mother of Perpetual Help. CBCPNews