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Friday, February 23, 2018 32° Partly sunny

A bridge between Muslims and Christians


By Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

Did you know that the Blessed Mother, particularly the Lady of Fatima, is highly revered among the Muslims?

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Spiritual writer Philip Kosloski relates, “During the 12th century, Christian armies sought to recapture cities in Spain and Portugal that were being occupied by Muslim forces. In this time period, a knight named Gonçalo Hermigues and his companions captured a Muslim princess named Fátima.

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Some stories say that after her capture, Fátima fell in love with Gonçalo and the two were soon betrothed. Before their marriage Fátima was baptized into the Catholic faith and took the name Oureana. The Portuguese cities of Fátima and Ourém are said to be named after this Muslim princess.

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What’s interesting is that the Muslim princess was named after one of the daughters of Mohammed, Fatimah bint Muhammad, a woman highly revered in Islam. She was given the title, al-Zahra, “shining one,” and Mohammed once said about her, “Thou shalt be the most blessed of all the women in Paradise, after Mary.”

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According to Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue,  Mary is mentioned various times in the Koran. Respect for her is so evident that when she is mentioned in Islam, it is usual to add “Alayha l-salam” (“Peace be upon her”). Mary, a model for Muslims and Christians, is also a model of dialogue.

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Surprisingly, besides attracting Christian pilgrims, the shrine at Fátima, Portugal, has also attracted Muslims in great numbers. They go to see the place where the Virgin Mary appeared in a city named after one of their most highly revered women.

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Let us continue to work for peace in the world and look to Our Lady as a BRIDGE between Muslims and Christians, begging her to end the hatred and terrorism that have caused so much violence and misery around the world, particularly in our country, especially Marawi and the southern Mindanao.

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THE LIGHTER SIDE. When Pope John XXIII opened the letter passed on to him by the surviving visionary of the Lady of Fatima, Sr. Lucy, the Holy Father was speechless and almost collapsed. The letter contained our Lord’s unpaid bill of the Last Supper – with compounded monthly interest!

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SVD JUBILEE CELEBRATION. Today at 3 p.m., a common Jubilee Celebration and Thanksgiving Mass of the SVD Philippines Central Province will be held at the Divine Word of Jesus Shrine, Christ the King Seminary, E. Rodriguez Boulevard, Quezon City.

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SVD Jubilarians are: 40 years in vows – Fr. Roland Aquino, Fr. Ramon Bosch, Fr. Yosef Undung, Fr. Gerardo Del Pinado, Fr. Eliseo Yyance.

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50 years in vows — Fr. Jose Mirabueno, Fr. Anthony Ranada, Fr. Wilfredo Mislang, Fr. Christopher Ramirez.

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65 years in vows — Fr. Valentino Darunday, Fr. Benjamin Mamawal.

25 years in priesthood — Fr. Emil Lim, Fr. Teofilo Perey.

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40 years in priesthood — Fr. Gerardo Donato, Fr. Abraham Paz, Fr. Miguel Yasis, Fr. Eli Mata, Fr. Antonio Pegon.

50 years in priesthood — Fr. John O’Mahony, Fr. Restituto Lumanlan, Fr. Herminio Ricafort (deceased).

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We request our readers, mission partners, and friends to pray for faithfulness and perseverance in living their vocation and doing their respective ministries.

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  1. JUDE. Join us today in our novena to St. Jude, Saint of the Impossible, at the Divine Word Shrine, Christ the King Seminary, on E. Rodriguez Boulevard, Quezon City, after the 6 p.m. Mass.

A healing prayer and anointing of the sick will follow.

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