‘Ave Maria,’ a tribute to Our Lady of Fatima

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You traversed the world’s widest ocean and deepest trench unto the island of Guam in the Marianas of Western Pacific. Your Centenary visit from the 22nd of August to the 10th of September 2017 this island will ever remember. Your presence knows no distance, unrestrained by time.

From village to village, day after day and night after night, throngs of people with no distinction of class, race or color, before your sacred Image fervently lined up and prayed in veneration mesmerized by the mystical purity and beauty of your sweet countenance.

A privileged moment tendered by a Heavenly guest as you are God’s favored one and full of grace, who brought forth man’s Redeemer. Our tiny island and its people are so blessed by your coming for what could be better than the visit of the Mother of our merciful Savior.

When in ancient times, all roads led to Rome. This time, however, all roads led to Guam where you were. Our hearts longed to see you, asking for your motherly guidance in our struggle and confusion wrought by anger and division.

And as you trusted in the divine word spoken by the Angel, we turn to you cognizant that anyone who fled to your protection was left unaided. Time spent with you in deep prayer and meditation seemed eternity. The charm of your mien pacified the turbulence in one’s soul.

Your simplicity and humility are reflected in the refinement of your sacrosanct bearing and you reached out to us through the ribbons held by hundreds of ardent hands. Masses, vigils, processions, rosaries, devotions ran from dusk to dawn. Mixture of supplications, big and small, to you, were prayed by all.

In hospital and Care Home, you, too, were there – reminiscent of your life-giving and inspiring visit to Elizabeth, your kin. On Guam are multi-ethnic colors of brown, white, yellow and black, drawn together by the power of prayer and your maternal benediction.

“Ave Maria” the most endeared salutation lisped by all, was the high octave of their song during your island sojourn. No speck of doubt did conversion and deeper Marian devotion occur, renewed like springtime after long hibernation from the harshness of winter.

Your gift of peace was the breaking news spoken by your mystical silence. Never did this island paradise experience such joy brought by your heavenly presence that banished tension and fear over the threat of the North Korean nuclear missile.

By twist of divine providence did the compass of your direction veer towards a wounded church that we are, reeling in pain and disunity from without and from within, your presence exudes expectant hope and healing.

Your visit touched our hearts and permeated the innermost recesses of our being. We followed you wherever you were with affection and devotion, like a child to his mother, and a bluebird to her young. On September 8, your birthday, we welcomed you in Barrigada with great joy.

And if only we can hold back the hand of time to stretch your stay a little bit more, but it wasn’t our option rather we stepped back contented having such fervor. As any episode of human drama comes to an end no matter how long, on the early morning of the 10th of -September 2017.

Your historic visit concluded with a poignant day we’ll never forget, as you disappeared in skies of Guam to an Asian destination. Tears fell from our eyes but tender love throbbed in our hearts. Bidding you farewell, O dearest Mother, Ave Maria!