Friday, November 1, 2013

Queen of the Holy Rosary, Pray for Us!

Young helpers gather with Fr. Varghese to help
prepare for the special Mass honoring Mary on the
last Sunday in October, the Month of the
Holy Rosary.
As flood recovery efforts continued across Andhra Pradesh and his missions, Fr. Varghese took a break from rebuilding people's homes to plan a Mass honoring the Blessed Mother on the last Sunday of October.

Young volunteers gathered at the mission's
shrine to the Blessed Mother, constructed
with local stones.
The missionary translated into the Telegu language messages from approved Marian apparition sites. Young volunteers helped him assign the name of a parish family to each slip, so each family at Mass would receive a message to guide it and the name of another family to keep in prayer in daily rosaries.

Fr. Varghese and his people are deeply devoted to the Blessed Mother. A couple years ago, they gathered local stones and constructed a special shrine to Our Lady on Holy Family grounds. This October, the Month of the Holy Rosary, the missionary met with his faithful  every evening to pray the Rosary. Because power outages were frequent, they often gathered in the light of kerosene lamps.

Around 320 people came to the October 27th Mass concelebrated by another missionary, Fr. Jacob. The readings and homily focused on the Blessed Mother. The people received their prayer slips, and a collection of yellow rice packets and tea was blessed by Fr. Jacob, and distributed after the Mass. People were grateful, since food post-cyclone has been scarce.

These young men prepared a special niche for the
Queen of Heaven, decorated with stars and a moon.
Over the weekend, Fr. Varghese also met with local officials who proposed using the mission hill for government helicopters to drop tents and supplies for flood victims. But on Sunday, the rain stopped. People thanked God as the region started to dry up, and no choppers landed on the mission hill.

Light piercing the darkness has special
significance in an area where power
outages are a daily fact of life.
The most solemn moment of the Mass, when daily
worries shrink and the Lord becomes All.

Around 320 villagers from all five outposts
attended this special Mass

Receiving the Eucharist, what beloved
Pope John Paul II referred to as
the "source and summit of life."
Fr. Jacob blessed packets of yellow rice,
distributed to faithful after the Mass.
Rosary beads lead from the Blessed Mother's niche...
and up toward heaven. (See below, right.)
Faithful crowd in to receive their prayer slips

Rice is a precious staple to a people
who eat it three times daily. Supplies
post-cyclone have been limited.
Blessed by the gift of rice.
Mary, Queen of the
Holy Rosary, pray for us!

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