Thursday, June 16, 2022

Guest Blogger: Lynley Ocampo: Mama Mary Answered My Prayer

 



SEVERAL YEARS AGO, I collected and edited a Catholic religious book, MAGNIFICAT: MAMA MARY'S PILGRIM SITES which gathers 24 people's accounts of Marian sites wherein they found comfort, solace, and sometimes miracles. The pilgrim sites include familiar shrines in Lourdes, Vailankanni, Guadalupe, Fatima, Ephesus, as well as lesser known ones including several in the Philippines (Antipolo, Manaoag, Odlot, Caysasya and more). 

The book was issued an Imprimatur by Archbishop Antonio G. Tagle D.D. of Manila. 

I was thrilled to hear back from a contributor, Atty. Lynley Ocampo, a lawyer from Cebu City, who emailed me to say her prayer has been answered with the help of Mary:

"I am happy to announce that my family and I have moved to our new home in ____. This was an answered prayer -- as I mentioned in MAGNIFICAT .. more than two years in the making. We moved in last 12 June, significantly as if to declare our independence from abusive and oppressive landlords/landowners. Bittersweet, as we’ve spent almost 80 years - beginning with my grandmother, mother, down to the more recent generation - in our old place."  

She included two photos of their beautiful pristine and airy home and said, "Our new home."

I am sharing the original article Lynley Ocampo wrote for the book, MAGNIFICAT: MAMA MARY'S PILGRIM SITES, wherein she attests to religious changes in her after visiting our Lady of Odlot in the Philippines. Please read the excerpt with her writeup:

 


Excerpt from MAGNIFICAT: MAMA MARY'S PILGRIM SITES (Kindle https://www.amazon.com/Magnificat-Mama-Marys-Pilgrim-Sites-ebook/dp/B008OWGAEQ 

Our Lady of Remedies in Odlot

 

PHILIPPINES – Shrine of Our Lady of Remedies in Odlot, Cebu

While there are stories that indicate Odlot had already been favored by Our Lady, the real story of Odlot began on June 21, 2008, when the statue of Our Lady of Remedies shed tears. This was witnessed by seven men who were there to cut and trim some Indian Trees. They called the parish priest’s attention who confirmed the presence of tears. Word spread that the statue of Our Lady was crying and hundreds witnessed this phenomenon on June 21.

On June 25, 2008, 35 people who were praying in front of the statue of Our Lady of Remedies witnessed the statue shedding tears once again. This time, the parish priest reported the matter to Cebu’s Cardinal Ricardo Vidal who in effect said, let us watch and observe, because if it’s the work of God, then it will grow and flourish. 

That was in 2008, and now Fr. Desuyo has a church partially completed, standing in place of the chapel-sized church that had stood there. The number of pilgrims who visit Our Lady of Odlot continues to grow as Our Lady lavishes blessings on the devotees.

 *** 

OUR LADY OF REMEDIES

(VIRGEN DE LOS REMEDIOS)

Lynley Salome R. Ocampo

 

ON THE eve of the feast of St. John the Baptist, I learned of the statue of Our Lady of Remedies in Odlot, Bogo City. She had shed tears on various occasions, according to the parish priest, Father Romeo “Dodong” Desuyo. It was close to midnight when Fr. Dodong shared the miracles attributed to the Virgen de los Remedios, at a dinner which I also attended. Fr. Dodong offers a devotional mass to Our Lady every first Saturday of the month. After the mass, the devotees say the rosary while walking barefoot around the immediate vicinity of the church. The image of the Virgen de los Remedios is carried by the members of the Cofradia during the barefoot procession and brought back to the altar again. This came to fore after some people living nearby witnessed a lady in white coming out of the church at midnight, and walking barefoot around the church. It is also a form of sacrifice.

Miracles of healing and life were being attributed to Our Lady. One persuasive account was that of a neurosurgeon who had fallen ill and became paralyzed. On his first visit to Our Lady, the doctor had to be carried on a stretcher. His second visit saw him in a wheelchair. The next visit, he used a cane, and on the succeeding visits, he could walk by himself, albeit with a slight limp. The doctor recognized the divine intervention of Our Lady who must have held him while joining the barefoot procession and saying the rosary. He has been visiting the church every first Saturday of the month since then.

Another story was that of a lady who had a scheduled operation (on her myoma) the following day. She asked for Our Lady’s help for a successful operation. On the day of the operation, the doctors were befuddled. There was no more myoma to be removed. Needless to say, the operation did not push through.

The last story Fr. Dodong relayed to us was that of a child who lay dying in the hospital. As the child’s condition seemed bleak, the casket was already being prepared by the family. By chance, the child’s aunt came upon a plastic vial inside the hospital comfort room. It contained holy oil from Our Lady of Remedies. After the holy oil was rubbed on the child, the child woke up as if nothing happened. A miracle of life, indeed.

Our curiosity was piqued after hearing the stories. Three of us decided to go, so there we were, on July 2, 2011, at a little past 1:00 p.m., on the almost three-hour drive from Cebu City.

Bogo is a city found in the northern part of Cebu Province. Odlot is a remote fisherman’s barrio, still a few minutes from the poblacion. When we reached the church, several devotees were already inside. The Church of Our Lady of Remedies is in its last phases of construction as can be gleamed from the scaffolding still inside. Yet, despite its unfinished state, devotees came in throngs and filled every nook and cranny of the church, all because of their dedication and love for Our Lady. Devotees who could not be accommodated inside the church gathered outside and similarly occupied the immediate surroundings.

Exhibited at the back of the church is the image of Our Lady of Remedies carrying the Infant Jesus. Also, the vestment she wore on 21 and 25 June 2008 where she was observed to be shedding tears, is similarly encased in glass and prominently displayed. There is also a wooden triptych being adored by the devotees. It is said that a fisherman found the wooden plank which got caught in his net. He hurled it back to sea but caught it again. Twice. On his third try, he caught the same plank and threw it to the shore. He was able to catch some fish by then. The wife got mad at him for coming home past noon. He told the wife of his strange experience. She got curious and told her husband to bring home the mysterious piece of wood. The following day, he brought the plank home. The wife thought of using it as firewood but she was told in a dream not to desecrate the piece of wood. In yet another dream, the wife was directed to take a close look at it, as an image of the Virgin and the Infant Jesus would appear. She was also ordered to honor and venerate the image of Our Lady of Remedies which emerged on the piece of wood. Two other images, of Saints Peter and Paul, flank Our Lady. The couple spread the word about their unusual find. Thereafter, the community built a chapel to enshrine the icon. Since then, the fisher folk have held Our Lady of Remedies as their patroness, and would often invoke her help before going out to sea.

The phenomenon where Our Lady was found shedding tears happened on June 21, 2008. Around 11:30 a.m. of that day, Ricky Mata, a parish volunteer, and some local boys, were trimming the leaves of the Indian trees in front of the rectory. They then noticed that the larger image of Our Lady located in the lobby of the rectory was shedding tears. Word spread around the community about the miraculous occurrence and a hundred more people witnessed the wondrous event which lasted until midnight. Fr. Dodong, who was already parish priest by then, sought an explanation and possible meaning for the tears. The next day, news of the sinking of the MV Princess of the Stars off the coast of Romblon reached him. He discerned that it was Our Lady’s way of asking Odlot parishioners to pray for those who perished in the tragic accident. Two of those who went missing in the sea tragedy were Odlot. The marvelous spectacle was repeated on June 25, 2008 after the 5:00 p.m. healing mass. While Fr. Dodong was praying over the people inside the church, those who passed by the rectory noticed that the image was again shedding tears. This lasted for about an hour, from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.

Before I even went to Odlot, I had already prayed to Our Lady. I asked for her intercession. We were about to be evicted from the land which had been our home (beginning from my mother) for almost 70 years. My late boss had donated a piece of land somewhere in Mandaue City but we did not have the wherewithal to begin construction of the new house. I had earlier approached a friend who is a big name in the construction business but it has been almost a year since I last heard from him.  The day before we were set to visit Odlot, my friend called from out of the blue and told me the good news. He will help build our future home. First answered prayer.

I took home several vials of holy oil from the first visit and gave them to my friends who were sick and needed healing. They all experienced healing of some sorts after using the holy oil. Another answered prayer.

On the first Saturday of the following month, I drove with my cousin, an elderly aunt, my niece, and my nephew. It was a long and hot drive up north but I never felt tired or weary. It was a relaxing ride — as if I was sweetly beckoned by my mother and I was hurrying home to lounge in her loving embrace. We took home more holy oil and a few liters of water from Our Lady. My 87-year-old aunt had been experiencing some pain around her stomach. After rubbing holy oil and drinking the water from Our Lady, she felt total relief. More answered prayer. A few weeks ago, I woke up in the middle of the night from an excruciating pain around my back and stomach areas. I tossed and turned in my bed for several hours. The pain was too much to bear. And then I remembered the water. I said a prayer and drank a few sips. In less than five minutes, it was all gone. No more agony. I could not believe the miracle that just took place. It was more than I could ever hope for. I do the same whenever I experience episodes of my monumental migraines. Our Lady wipes them out with water from her grotto in Odlot. Just recently, my mother experienced Our Lady’s miracle. She had been rendered weak by a sudden and unknown ailment and was bedridden for several days. At one point she thought that she was about to breathe her last. I had prayed fervently for her well-being and healing. My sister-in-law massaged her legs with the holy oil which I took home last Saturday (November 5. 2011). The following morning, she was up and about and walking gingerly. This morning, after drinking the water from the grotto, she had gone out of the house and did her usual walk. It appears that the miracle is endless and even happens to skeptics such as my mother.

It has been four months since the first visit. With the exception of the first Saturday of September, I have been taking pilgrims with me to Odlot and I intend to go whenever I can. It’s my own little way of venerating Our Lady of Remedies and keeping her miracle alive.  The biggest miracle has happened to me. I am not saying that I have been totally transformed by what I have experienced and observed. But the fact that I have gone out of my way in propagating the miracle and driving to and from Bogo in all sorts of weather, sans any complaint, is an indication of the positive effect that Our Lady of Remedies has had on me. I guess when it comes to mothers, we are putty in their hands, and can only say “Yes, Mother. I’ll see you every first Saturday of the month.” 

~End Excerpt~

tags: Catholic Pilgrim sites, Catholic pilgrimages, Catholic Pilgrim places, Marian Pilgrim shrines 




No comments: