Guam Divine Mercy Pilgrimage 2017

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Photographed in front of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima in Cova da Iria, Portugal, the pilgrims of the Guam Divine Mercy Pilgrimage 2017 included: (front kneeling, L-R) Daniel Escalona, Agnes Indalecio, Joy Lee Borlagdatan, Erlinda Aguilar, the tour guide, Theresa Datuin, Rosemarie Salas; (back standing, L-R) Cheridith Escalona, Joseph Shimizu, Angelina Roman, Fr. Joel de los Reyes, Jessielyn Ong, Eileen Benavente-Blas, Hilda Pellacani, Perlita Galvez, Marilyn Cabailo, Mary Torres, Annie Roberto, Annie Shimizu, Fr. Tony Chan, Josie Mercado, Primrose Marcos, Edith Estabillo, Alfred Arroyo, Venicia Abadilla, Maria Mafnas, Josefina Aguon, Lourdes Salas, Josephine Mesa and Vicente Mesa. (Photo courtesy of Guam Divine Mercy Group)

By Father Joel de los Reyes
Divine Mercy Moments

It was an exciting and faith-filled Guam Divine Mercy pilgrimage in beautiful places such as: Santarem-Eucharistic miracle shrine, Fatima, Portugal, Burgos, Spain, Lourdes, Paris, France, Brussels, Belgium, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Hannover, Berlin, Germany, Wroclaw, Czestochowa, Krakow – Divine Mercy and St. Faustina shrine, Wadowice – the birthplace of St. John Paul II and Vienna, Austria.

Joining this memorable journey were: Lou Salas, Primrose Marcos, Josefina Aguon, Maria Mafnas, Annie Roberto, Hilda Pellacani, Mary Torres, Joe Shimizu, Annie Shimizu, Eileen Blas, Michael Sanders, Angelina Roman, Erlinda Aguilar, Perlita Galvez, Edith Estabillo, Josie Mercado, Theresa Datuin, Rosemarie Salas, Marilyn Cabailo, Fred Arroyo, Venice Abadilla, Ben Mesa, Josephine Mesa, Agnes Indalecio, Jessielyn Ong, Josephine Borlagdatan, Daniel Escalona, Chereedith Escalona, Fr. Tony Olaguer, and yours truly, Fr. Joel G. de los Reyes.

The weather was pleasant all throughout – the places were awesome, meeting people of different races and languages exudes an aura of an amusing humanity, the food was satiating, and hotel accommodations were excellent. We had first class transportation coaches, friendly and informative professional tour guides, and the religious shrines, cathedrals, and churches that we visited and had Masses in were faith-enriching and sacrosanct havens for the soul.

The beautiful countryside landscapes were bedecked with delightful and blossoming flowers and greens laced with spectral colors hovered by the blue skies of European summer. We had a very nice pilgrimage group, prayerful, friendly, social, entertaining with smiles, laughter, happy hours of singing, lots of fun and shopping, helping each other and bound by a spirit of family and community. No doubt each one had unique and unforgettable experiences to surely last. It was truly a very meaningful and spiritually rich journey.

This year 2017 marks the 100th year Anniversary of the Apparition of Our Lady to the children: Jacinta Marto, Francisco Marto, and Lucia dos Santos at Cova da Iria in Fatima, Portugal on May 13, 1917. The children saw a woman brighter than the sun with rays of light, wearing a white mantle edged in gold and holding a rosary in her hand. They claimed seeing the Virgin Mary six times between May 13 and October 13, 1917. In her apparitions, she stressed repeatedly the necessity of praying the rosary daily, of wearing the brown scapular of Mt. Carmel and of performing acts of reparation and sacrifice.

Pope Francis canonized Francisco Marto and his sister Jacinta Marto on May 13, 1917 in Fatima before thousands of pilgrims from all over the world. The church is presently examining and collecting testimonies and documents for the beatification of Sister Lucia.      

Our Divine Mercy pilgrimage group joined the nightly rosary and solemn procession at Fatima along with hundreds of Marian pilgrims. We carried our Divine Mercy banner. We spent much time in reflection, praying the holy rosary together and had Masses in the chapel. Our sojourn in Fatima was spiritually enlightening, and beholding the statue of Our Lady in the sanctuary with her mystical and beautiful face, gave us a feeling of her presence and maternal benediction. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

On the flip side, someone said that when we put our problems in God’s hands, He puts His peace in our hearts. Even during our darkest moments, God has plans for us to shine bright. He always gives us what we need. Let’s not lose faith. Let us do good for others for blessings come back in unexpected ways. One kind word can change someone’s day. A.S.A.P. – Always Say A Prayer. Amen on that folks!

In her Diary 301, St. Faustina wrote Jesus’ words: “Proclaim that mercy is the greatest attribute of God.”