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The PHILIPPINES - Ang PILIPINAS

Blessed Paul VI was a pilgrim in 1970 to the Philippines. Saint John Paul II visited twice: in 1981 and 1995, when World Youth Day Manila was celebrated by over 5 million people (was down in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest gathering in the history of the world). Pope Francis followed in their footsteps in January 2015 (when a new world record was set with over 6 million present at the final Mass).

Here below are responses to Totus2us podcasts given by Filipinos
- many thanks to you all    ♥

To download the free mp3 Totus2us audio recordings individually, right/double click on the play buttons.

Adele      

"Mama Mary, thank you very much for all the kindness and fruitfulness that you have given to us."

Adnelle       

"Our Lady is a great intercessor for me. Whatever it is that I ask through Jesus Christ, I always ask the intercession of Our Lady. I always pray the rosary, and I offer the rosary for the intentions of the people that I promise to pray for.  I keep Mary with me every day because I keep the rosary in my pocket every day, wherever I go."

Agnes       

"There's really a strong image of Mama Mary for Filipinos, we just go to her every time we would have like deep, deep needs. And for us she forms a very strong connection between Jesus Christ our God. And in times when we are in desperate needs, we would most likely go to her and ask her assistance so that our prayers would be brought before Jesus and before God. So from a country with a very strong maternal image, for us Mama Mary always comes to our aid or assistance during desperate needs. And in times when we get nice graces, it's also Mama Mary we go to first to thank her for praying for us and for praying with us."

Agnes gives her something about Mary in English & Tagalog.

Anthony      

"It is in the Bible that we go to Jesus through Mary. Our Lady never abandoned Jesus. She's a great example really of being there for us. So if we want to go close to Jesus, we can go to Mary. Children usually go to their mothers, and so we go to Mother Mary because she is also our mother as she is our Lord Jesus' mother. We give thanks to Jesus through Mary, and through her most powerful intercession we can get many graces."

Carmen      

"To me, when I go to Medjugorje it’s Our Lady's presence that I love. The sign for me in Medjugorje is the rosary that has been said for the last 32 years .. and the adoration, the Cross, the Eucharist. It's lovely."

Catherine      

"Mary is for me is, simply, a mother, a mother of everyone, who listens and who understands."

Catherine gives her something about Mary in English & Tagalog.

Celeste       

"Mary became our bridge to Jesus and Jesus to us. Our Blessed Virgin Mary prays to Jesus for the needs of all people. And she teaches us to pray, she gave us the Holy Rosary, the Hail Mary, which show us the way who is her son Jesus Christ.
I personally receive a lot of graces from Our God through Our Blessed Mother Mary, by reciting my daily rosary. I can truly feel and experience the power of this prayer: it strengthens my faith to God, to Mary and to the Catholic Church, it sharpens my conscience day by day and, by continuously praying the Holy Rosary, changes my whole life being and leads me to know Jesus more, to love Jesus more and to be with Jesus. My day will not be complete without the rosary. It is the source of my well being, happiness and peace. Even though I am tired the whole day, I make sure that I pray the Holy Rosary every night before I go to sleep. I love and thank Our Blessed Mother Mary for all the blessings and graces I received from heaven through her."

Cherrie      

"I think Mary is the perfect example of obedience and what it means to be totally surrendered to God."

Cherrie Anderson was chosen from the Madrid Me Encanta competition to play at World Youth Day Madrid: she entered 2 songs, 'Unshakeable' and 'Faith in You', which is featured on Word on the Street. Cherrie is also band member of Ooberfuse, whose song 'Hidden Light' is also on Word on the Street.

Cristine       

"Mary is first and foremost a mother; she is for me a symbol of purity, of hope and of love."

Dante      

"Overall Lourdes was a really good experience. I mean it enlightened me how big the Catholic faith is, like how important it is to everyone around the world because I saw a lot of people from different nationalities all joining together as one, under one religion. .. The most amazing part about my time there was the candlelit Mass at night which was amazing because the entire place was just illuminated by just people and their candles."

Elvira      

"I think Mama Mary for me is the eternal mother. She teaches us to be first of all a child, then a mother. For me, being a mother, I learned so much from her, because I don't have that relationship with my mum, so she became my role model and she's the one that taught me so much how to become a mother. When I speak about Mama Mary, I always have this big emotion because I learnt so much from her and I was able to become a mother for my mother because of her."

Emet      

"Our Lady means a lot to me, a lot."

Emma      

"Since when I was young I'm really devoted to Mama Mary. I call her Mama Mary because I'm a member of the legion of Mary back home and I found her like as my mum as well and my guidance in my every day, for me and my son."

Erica      

"Mama Mary is the mother of Jesus, without her we’re not going to be saved. Mama Mary is one of the blessings that I've received in my life. Because of her, Jesus is going to be born and Jesus is our Saviour."

Ericson       

"What Mary is to me basically is very personal. She is a representation of my Mum who I love very much.. She symbolises my devotion to the Lord, I constantly pray to her for guidance or intercession for whatever requests I have. So she is a very big part of my life."

Estella      

"What can I say about Mary, Mama Mary? She’s our mother, the mother of Jesus Christ, who is very good and very holy."

Evelyn      

"Mary really listens to your prayers, you know. If you're in problems, she really helps you. If you pray to her, your burdens disappear."

Fay       

"Mary is like my mother. I grew up having great faith in Mary, especially during tough times when I lost my mum. It felt like they were just together in heaven. And especially Our Mother of Perpetual Help, she has been there and she has helped me take my baby steps, just like any mother would do to their daughter. She has never failed me, thank God to have her there, and she is a continuous inspiration for purity and yes, thank God for Mary."

Felix      

"I have been to see the Virgin Mary so many times in Medjugorje."

Florence      

"I believe in Jesus Christ and in his mother, Mama Mary; whatever I ask them, if it is really for me, they always answer me. …I think if you pray hard, and it is really deep in your heart, in your mind, they will answer you because we are all loved by Jesus, we are all Mama Mary's children."

Gina      

"I am very devoted to Mother Mary because I believe she is the Immaculate Conception and she is the purest Mother and she is the mother of our Jesus Christ. So I believe that if I pray with her, to her, all my prayers will be answered because she is the closest to Jesus."

Howard      

"Christmas for me is about celebration and the reason why we celebrate is because God became man for all of us .. During Christmas we celebrate love, faith and hope - it's because God is all about faith and hope and love."

Irma      

"Oh, I love Mary. She's really a lot to me. She's really like a mother - like she's the mother to Jesus, she's really a mother to me. And she's really good, she really protects."

Ivy      

"Mary for me is an example of what we would need to be to be a Christian: to offer ourselves up to Christ the whole time with our yes. At the same she is our mother, so I run to her for everything and anything, I run to her for guidance and help, and she is very close to me."

Jeraldine      

"Slowly, as things happened in my life, I began to realise the importance of Our Lady and what a good example she has been to me. The most important thing that really inspires me about her is her assumption and how a human being like her could surrender her will completely to God and be rewarded with such glory through the assumption, and not to die but go directly and be in unity with God."

Jessamine      

"Whenever we approach God we don't have to be afraid because Mary, our good mother, is always with us."

Jocelyn      

"I always love the Mother of Perpetual Help because I humbly ask her a lot of things that she has given me and so I really am a great believer of Our Lady of Perpetual Help."

Josephine      

"My Mary is the Virgin of Fatima. I’m now serving her by bringing her [statue] to other houses. I’ve been doing this since 2001 .. for every people, who need help and the devotion to Mary."

Juan Miguel      

"Obviously I'm a sinner and I suppose most of us are, and when we go about our day and think about how have I offered my day to God, sometimes we may feel that, no matter what I do, I actually can't make an offering that is good enough or worthy enough for God, because of all the sins that we have done. But I think that this is why the Eucharist is a great moment because, in the Eucharist, Christ invites us to give to him all of the things that we want to offer and he will present them to God his Father. And so it's not actually by my merit that these offerings become acceptable but it is through Christ's merit. That is why I like to attend the Eucharist as often I can."

Kathy       

"I know I can turn to Mama Mary no matter what."

Thanks to World Youth Day Sydney Kathy got to learn of John Paul II's teachings on the theology of the body, which have transformed the way she sees things.      

JP2: "True holiness does not mean a flight from the world; rather, it lies in the effort to incarnate the Gospel in everyday life, in the family, at school and at work, and in social and political involvement."

Keith      

"What I like about Mary is that she's always there for you."

Kristina      

"Our Lady for me who is the one who should inspire us to move closer to Jesus. It is hard to separate Our Lady from Jesus, because Our Lady doesn't move, like she doesn't appear in Fatima, in Guadalupe, if Jesus did not allow her to. And even in my life I find it hard to separate them because Mary has always been the inspiration to move closer, to walk closer to Jesus."

Leonora      

"Mary is the mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ. She guides me all the time, I ask her always to guide me."

Linda      

"The Virgin Mary is the most, most wonderful mother. Since I've lost my mother, she has been a mother to me and I love her so much."

Lolita       

"Mama Mary is very, very precious to me because Mama Mary, especially Mama Mary of Medjugorje, is the one who helped me to go back to God. She is our mother, she helps us so much. And everything that you need, just go to Mama Mary and she promises something: she will help you - that's the way she did it with me."

Lourdes      

"Mary is everything for me, Mama Mary is very kind to me."

Lyn      

"I consider Our Blessed Mother as my own mother. She called me a couple of years ago to be her child, her own particular daughter, when my now husband introduced me to The True Devotion to Mary by St Louis de Montfort. It is through that that I've realised that she was as interested in me, in me deepening my faith and her forming me in her womb, so to speak. And that relationship deepened with her. And through that relationship and through that novena which we now do every year, The True Devotion, I feel that she is advocating for me in the most difficult moments of our life, of my life, in our marriage she speaks up for me and she's that voice in my heart like a mother, caring for me, caring for our marriage in the most difficult times. And during the most challenging of times she would always bring us to Mass."

Maria       

"I see my dearest Mother Mary as my own mother, my maternal mother, my image of a mother for the whole world. She blesses me with love and all the graces, and how I should be as a woman, and how I should be to my children."

Maria       

"Our Lady is always there for me; she always helps me in all my ways of life. For me, I always say thank you to her, and I always thank Jesus through Mary."

Maria gives her something about Mary in English & Tagalog.

Maria       

"As far as I know when I was child, you cannot go to the father without going through the mother as well. So, Mary for me is the Mother of God and when I pray, sometimes I pray for her intercession to be heard by the Father."

Maria      

"Mother Mary is the mother of Jesus."

Sister Maria-Jose      

"The Blessed Virgin Mary for me is really the Virgin; a virgin and a mother; my heavenly mother."

Marie      

"Our patron is Our Lady of Lourdes in our parish in Lucena City. This is my first time to come to Lourdes and I've felt Mama Mary is full of graces on us. She's our mother and we love her very much."

Mariel       

"Mama Mary for me is a very special person. If you want to be close to Jesus, you go straight to Mary and you will be closer to Jesus."

Mario      

"From the beginning I was very inspired with Our Lady. She is a loving mother to me and I am very passionate with Mother Mary. I lead a rosary prayer group  in West London with a Filipino group. We move the statue of Our Lady from house to house every week. Our aim is to encourage the family to pray together with the rosary with Our Lady. Our image that we are promoting is Our Lady Mediatrix of all Grace."

Mark      

"It was through the intercession of Our Lady that I came home to the Catholic Church. So for me the Blessed Mother is really my mother, my teacher and my advocate, and all I can say is that I really love her beyond all telling. It is true enough when Pope John Paul II said 'Totus Tuus', totally yours - once and for all when you've consecrated yourself to the Blessed Mother, everything is going to be fine. She is the mother of us all, she is our yes to God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit."

Mark gives his something about Mary in English & Tagalog.

Melba      

"I came to the Blessed Virgin Mary to help me to come to know her holy son, Jesus."

Mila      

"Every time that I have something, a problem or whatever, Mary is always the first one I think of to help me. I love her so much. She always helps me so much in my every day life.  .. Blessed Virgin Mary because you are our mother you will never abandon us and I know that you are always with us, thank you."

Milka       

"I think Mama Mary to me is like bringing my family together when we pray, especially the rosary … Anywhere we go, she's there with us because she's our universal mother."

Mina       

"I believe in Our Lady because I consider her as our mother and as our advocate and I trust her in all my life."

Myra      

"Mama Mary is like a mother to me."

Nelly       

"I respect the Virgin Mary as the Mother of God and I believe when she prays for us, God really listens to her. And every time I pray to ask her help to pray for me, I know she listens to me and all that I ask from her, I receive all the gifts from God."

Nila      

"Mary is our saint isn't she and she always loves everyone else. If you want something you go to her and she always helps you with everything that you need. We always say Mama Mary. She's everyone's patron saint."

Oftaciana      

"I have a great devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help."

Penny      

"Ok, what can I say about Mary? I love her from the bottom of my heart! She always intercedes for me to God."

Pilar       

"Mother Mary is our mother and everything I ask, I always feel that Mother Mary is beside me, and helping me to solve my problems, whatever. I always feel that Mother Mary is always listening to our prayers, so I encourage you to be with Mother Mary and to pray the rosary."

Primitiva      

"I always ask Mama Mary to pray for us and also for the whole world. And that's it. I love you, Mama Mary, I love you. Please pray for me."

René       

"I am so inspired by the Virgin Mary and she is one of the most important factors in my life. She actually changed me and has guided me all through my journey, especially getting closer to God."

Rhona       

"Christmas in the Philippines is the day that everyone is looking forward to .. For me Christmas is just giving yourself time to reflect on what Jesus means to us."

Ritzel      

"With whatever I've gone through, all the trials that I've been through, I have always asked Mother Mary to pray for me to the Lord our God to give me strength and patience and faith, and it's just helped me tremendously. And I am not the person that I am now if it weren't for my faith, for my renewed faith, and I will forever be grateful and devoted to her and to Jesus."

Rose      

"Our Lady, pray for us. Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us. Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, pray for us. Our Lady Queen of Heaven, pray for us."

Salome      

"I love Mary because I'm always asking her for help and I have a very hard situation right now, but I always come to her and she's always there for me. I love her because there always is a miracle."

Sheila       

"I am a mother and I try to emulate some of Mother Mary's virtues as a mother: patience, kindness, love, a lot of faith in God. And she helps me in being a mother, in being a child of God, through her intercession."

Sherryl      

"Mary is my light and she intercedes for me when I pray to Jesus and our holy Father."

Sherryl gives her something about Mary in English & Tagalog.

Sophy       

"What Mary means me to me is: my protector, my role model and my intercessor, especially being a mother to two young boys."

Sister Stefania      

"For me, Mary is my refuge and my protector. She is our heavenly Mother whom we can trust and whom we can count on."

Sylvia      

"O dearest Mary, you’ve been my mother through all my life and I trust in you to enfold me in your loving care always. Amen."

Teresa       

"The Blessed Mother is just like a mother to me."

Teresa gives her something about Mary in English & Tagalog.

Teresita       

"I just want to say about Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary: she is the Mother of all nations, whatever your religion."

Teresita gives her something about Mary in English & Tagalog.

Tessi      

"Mary is my everything. She's my mother and, being in the Legion [of Mary], she guides me in whatever I do and inspires me in everything. She's my model, so I do everything for her. I try to do everything for her."

Tina      

"Ever since I was a child I always loved the Blessed Mother; she is always there for all of us, whenever we ask her."

Vicky      

"Our dear Mother Mary is our refuge in time of need. She was a blessing, much blessing, to me and my family. I prayed for accommodation for a year and, during the Day of Mary, our Mother Mary answered in due and perfect time. And I thank her forever for she is the Mother of my Saviour Jesus and our Mother. Amen."

Vicky      

"Mary we call our Mama Mary in the Philippines and for me my experience with her is that she has always been my help in times of crisis, especially my daughter has had chronic anemia, and I prayed to Mama Mary to look after my daughter where I was always away from them, and until now I always pray the rosary to beg her to intercede for me and my family and all the people that I pray for. So Mary is our mother. Let's continue to pray to her for all our needs and for the whole world."

Wilbert       

"I love Mama Mary, I am utterly devoted to Mama Mary. I always pray the holy rosary because she is the mother of all."

Yvette      

"Mama Mary is the epitomy of what a woman should be as a mother, a daughter and as a sanctuary."

Zen      

"Mary for me is the Mother of all, and not just Jesus; and she is a model for all women of how to follow God."

If you'd be up for giving your something about Mary,
please do get in touch with the Totus2us team

- as well as hopefully bringing you joy,
you'd be really helping Totus2us   ♥

"Totus tuus ego sum et omnia mea tua sunt.
Accipio te in mea omnia. Praebe mihi cor tuum, Maria." - St Louis de Montfort

Saint John Paul II took his motto Totus Tuus from this quote.

"I am totally yours and all that I have is yours.
I accept you for my all. O Mary, give me your heart.”

Pope Francis's reflection on his pilgrimage to the Philippines
General Audience, Wednesday 21 January 2015 - in Arabic, Croatian, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese & Spanish

"Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning.
Today I will focus on the Apostolic Journey to Sri Lanka and the Philippines, which I made last week. After my visit to Korea a few months ago, I again returned to Asia, that continent rich in cultural and spiritual traditions. The journey was above all a joyful encounter with the ecclesial communities which, in those countries, bear witness to Christ: I confirmed them in their faith and missionary spirit. I will forever carry in my heart the memory of the festive welcome from the crowds — in some cases the size of an ocean — which accompanied those salient moments of the Journey. Furthermore, I encouraged interreligious dialogue at the service of peace, as well as the journey of those peoples towards unity and social development, especially with families and young people playing a prominent role.

... From Sri Lanka I flew to the Philippines, where the Church is preparing to celebrate the fifth centenary of the Gospel’s arrival. It is the foremost Catholic country in Asia, and the Filipino people are well known for their deep faith, their religiosity and enthusiasm, even in the diaspora. In my meeting with the nation’s Authorities, as well as in moments of prayer and during the crowded concluding Mass, I stressed the continual fruitfulness of the Gospel and its capacity to inspire a society worthy of man, in which there is room for the dignity of each and for the aspirations of the Filipino people.

The main scope of my visit, and the motive for which I chose to go to the Philippines — this was the main reason — was to be able to express my closeness to our brothers and sisters who suffered the devastation of Typhoon Yolanda. I went to Tacloban, in the region most seriously hit, where I paid homage to the faith and resilience of the local population. In Tacloban, unfortunately, adverse weather conditions claimed yet another innocent victim: the young volunteer Kristel, struck and killed by a structure that collapsed in the wind. I then thanked those who, from every part of the world, responded to their adversity with a generous outpouring of aid. The power of God’s love, revealed in the mystery of the Cross, was made evident in the spirit of solidarity demonstrated by the many acts of charity and sacrifice that marked those dark days.

The encounters with families and young people, in Manila, were salient moments of my visit to the Philippines. Healthy families are essential to the life of a society. It gives consolation and hope to see so many large families that welcome children as a gift from God. They know that every child is a blessing. I have heard it said by some that families with many children and the birth of many children are among the causes of poverty. That opinion seems simplistic to me. I can say, we can all say, that the main cause of poverty is an economic system that has canceled the person from the centre and set money in its place; an economic system that excludes, always excludes: excludes children, the elderly, young people, the unemployed... and that creates the throw-away culture we live in. We are accustomed to seeing people discarded. This is the main cause of poverty, not large families. Looking to the figure of St Joseph, who protected the life of the “Santo Niño”, much venerated in that land, I recalled that we need to protect families who are being threatened in different ways so that they can bear witness to the beauty of the family in God’s plan. We also need to defend the family from new ideological colonizations that threaten its identity and mission.

It was a joy for me to be with the young people of the Philippines, to listen to their hopes and their anxieties. I wanted to offer them my encouragement in their effort to contribute to the renewal of society, especially through service to the poor and safeguarding the environment.

Care for the poor is an essential element of our Christian life and witness — I stressed this too during my visit; it entails the rejection of every form of corruption, for corruption robs the poor. It calls for a culture of honesty.

I thank the Lord for this pastoral visit to Sri Lanka and the Philippines. I ask Him to bless these two countries for ever and to strengthen the fidelity of Christians to the Gospel message of our redemption, reconciliation and communion with Christ."