The month of September is important in the Marian Calendar, with September 8 being the nativity of the Blessed Mother.  To the Legionaries, it is celebrated with solemnity as the Legion is built upon the devotion to Mary.

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Unlike the previous year’s exhibit, putting up the 2015 Marian Exhibit was assigned to the Legion of Mary. The main objective that came to mind was introducing visitors of the exhibit to the different images of Mother Mary and in the process, increase their appreciation of the history, origin, and the miracles associated with each of the images.

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To make sure the exhibit reaches a wide spectrum of people, and not only the devotees of Mother Mary, invitations were printed and sent to schools, banks and legionaries of neighboring churches. Tarpaulins were placed in strategic places;  a news write-up was sent to local newsletter publishers for added publicity.  The exhibit was consistently announced during all Masses for three weekends before the event.

About 83 images came from parishioners and non-parishioners alike, with some images coming from as far as Navotas. It was a challenge to fit all of them and then arrange them beautifully inside the Our Lady of Candelaria Hall.

A relic from the veil of the Blessed Mother, courtesy of Mr. Boy Ponce, served as the centerpiece of the whole exhibit.  The lighting, the plants,  and orchid arrangement provided an atmosphere conducive to prayer and meditation.  Soft music completed the aura of solemn devotion to the Mother of God.

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On September 6, the exhibit was opened beginning with the blessing of all the images by the His Excellency, Most Rev. Bishop Jesse Mercado, DD, bishop of Paranaque. His Excellency was the first to sign the Guest Book which was specificially prepared for the 3-day event.

There was an overwhelming response to the invitations to the exhibit. Visitors came from the different parishes of Las Pinas City and Muntinlupa City. More than 600 visitors were registered in the Guest Book in three days. The organizers were so encouraged when guests shared their heart-warming comments and complements on the exhibit and that they are already looking forward to another exhibit next year with hopefully a bigger venue and with even more images of Mother Mary.

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This event was featured on the front page of Senatus Bulletin of the Legion of Mary of Northern Philippines accompanied by a picture of Bishop Jesse Mercado blessing the exhibit.  This is part of PCJ’s history in commemorating the celebrations of Mother Mary’s feast days.

 

-Lilia Fernandez