4-Aug-2000 -- EWTN News Brief
FILIPINO MUSLIMS, CHRISTIANS CAN CALL ON MARY FOR PEACE
MANILA (CWNews.com/Fides) - Mary, mother of Jesus of
Nazareth, revered and honored by Muslims as well as Christians is being
invoked in the Philippines to hasten the return of peace to war-torn
On August 5, in churches throughout the archipelago, the
Philippines' bishops will lead the faithful in an Act of Consecration to the
Immaculate Heart of Mary. On that day, the Catholic Church celebrated
the feast of Our Lady of the Snows on the anniversary of the dedication of St.
Mary Major Basilica in Rome, the first church in the world built to honor
Mary, Mother of God, after the Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D.
"By this act of entrustment," Archbishop Orlando
Quevedo of Cotabato, president of the bishops' conference, wrote in a July 14
letter to the bishops, "we wish to obtain for our nation through the
intercession of Mary, whom both Muslims and Christians revere to obtain
peace." It comes in response to the suggestions from various lay
groups and movements, particularly the Episcopal Laity Commission, the
archbishop said. "In Mindanao we are seeing the tragic reality of
continuing war. Violence begets violence, war begets war," he said.
Thousands of people have been killed or forced to abandon
their homes in the ongoing war between Muslim separatists and the government
of the mainly Catholic country in southern Mindanao island. There have
been numerous casualties on both sides, rebel and army, and more than 200,000
civilian persons evacuated as the victories by government forces over Moro
Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) camps become "more destructive, more
terrifying, more uncertain protracted guerrilla warfare," the archbishop
The displaced in Mindanao continue to suffer in cramped and
inadequate evacuation centers, many children even dying due to the miserable
conditions. Resources for food, shelter, medicines and clothing from
government, Church and aid groups have been dwindling because of the general
economic crisis in the country.