St. Lucy of The Blind

st. luciaLucy’s name means “light”, with the same root as “lucid” which means “clear, radiant, understandable.” Unfortunately for us, Lucy’s history does not match her name.

Lucy (283-304) had vowed her life to the service of Christ. Her mother tried to arrange a marriage for her with a pagan. Lucy apparently knew that her mother would not be convinced by a young girl’s vow so she devised a plan to convince her mother that Christ was a much more powerful partner for life. Through prayers at the tomb of Saint Agatha, her mother’s long illness was cured miraculously. The grateful mother was now ready to listen to Lucy’s desire to give her money to the poor and commit her life to God.

Unfortunately, legend has it, the rejected bridegroom did not see the same light and he betrayed Lucy to the governor as a Christian. This governor tried to send her into prostitution but the guards who came to take her way found her stiff and heavy as a mountain.

Absent in the early narratives and traditions, at least until the 15th century, is the story of Lucy tortured by eye-gouging.  According to later accounts, before she died she foretold the punishment of Paschasius and the speedy end of the persecution, adding that Diocletian would reign no more, and Maximian would meet his end. This so angered Paschasius that he ordered the guards to remove her eyes. Another version has Lucy taking her own eyes out in order to discourage a persistent suitor who admired them. When her body was prepared for burial in the family mausoleum it discovered that her eyes had been miraculously restored.

Lucy’s name is probably also connected to statues of Lucy holding a dish with two eyes on it. The legend concludes with God restoring Lucy’s eyes.

Lucy’s name also played a large part in naming Lucy as a patron saint of the blind and those with eye-trouble.

#MoralStory : “Father’s Love For A Child”

In 1989, an 8.2 (on Richter scale) earthquake almost flattened Armenia, killing over 30,000 people in less than four minutes. In the midst of chaos, a father left his home and rushed to the school where he had left his son that morning, only to discover that the building had been totally destroyed.

The father remembered the promise he had made to his son : ‘no matter what, I will always be there for you!’ Tears began to fill his eyes as he looked at the pile of debris that once was his son’s school.

He began to concentrate on where he walked his son to class that morning. Remembering that his son’s classroom would be in a particular spot, he rushed there and started digging through the rubble. Other parents who had gathered told him that he was wasting his time and energy, but the father would only say, “Are you going to help me?” and carry on digging. The fire chief showed up and tried to pull him off the debris saying, “You are in danger. We will take care of it. You go home.” To which the Armenian father’s response was, “Are you going to help me find my son?”

The police came and urged the man to give up. But the distraught father courageously proceeded alone, because he needed to know for himself ‘is my boy alive or is he dead?’ He dug and pulled back boulder after boulder for thirty-eight hours non-stop and suddenly when he was pulling a boulder he heard his son’s voice. “ARMOND, are you there?” He responded, “Dad, it is me, Dad! I told my friends that if my Dad is alive we would be saved! I told them you had promised me — no matter what, I will always be there for you! You did it, Dad!”

“What is going on there son?” the father asked. “We are fourteen of us, Dad. We are scared, hungry, thirsty, and thankful you are here. When the building collapsed, it made a wedge, like a triangle, and it saved fourteen of us!” The son explained.                     “Come out my boy!”                 “No Dad! Let the other kids out first, cause I know you will get me! No matter what, /i know you’ll be there for me!”

The fireman, the police and the crowd could not believe what they saw! The man whom they had considered as traumatized with anxiety and fear was actually responding to love and was pulling one boy after another until he pulled out and embraced the 14th boy, his son Armond!

Indeed genuine love can never be understood by human measurements. God cannot be measured, God is Love! If human love can at times give us an inkling of what love is all about, what marvel God’s love for us must be! Love is patient, love is kind. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never fails!

#Mini Bulletin : Growth in S Korean Catholics

SEOUL – Recent statistics indicate that the Catholic population in South Korea has increased over the past year.

Last month, the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Korea released a publication entitled statistics of the Catholic Church in Korea 2012. The report, prepared by the Catholic Pastoral Institute of Korea, states that at the end of 2012, there were 5,361,369 Catholics in the country, an increase of 1.6% — or 84,959 individuals — over the last year.

This accounts for just over 10% of the total population. According to the report, these numbers have “slightly and consistently increased at a yearly average of 2% – 3% during the past 11 years.”

Just over half of South Korea’s Catholics live in the metropolitan areas of Seoul, Suwon, Incheon and Uijeongbu.

The number of parishes in 2012 was 1,664, an increase of 17 from the previous year, while the number of mission stations is now 796.

#LittlePilgrimage 05. The Church of St.Bernadette

so i have this weird idea of doing a mission : go and have mass on each and every catholic church in singapore. it means i’ll go to different churches every week, having a mass there, enjoy the peaceful moment to pray, then go home. this mission i called #LittlePilgrimage Mission.

#LittlePilgrimage 05. The Church of St.Bernadette, 12 Zion Road, Singapore 247731

05. The Church of St.Bernadette01 05. The Church of St.Bernadette04i decided to go to indonesian mass at 3:30pm,, because i miss singing songs with my mother-tongue and meet people from my country as well. the indonesian mass are only on the 2nd and 4th sunday. i can’t trust streetdirectory anymore,, because it keeps error and sometimes it shows complicated route and i have to keep changing bus and etc,, so i went with my guts. changing bus and wait for next bus coming is not my kind. waiting is not my kind.

i took bus #970 before 2pm,, and stop at mutiara view. the church located at kellock, behind river valley road. i had to walk around 300m.

well,, another fancy church. i prefer old churches,, because old churches usually have the “it” feeling since the first time you walked in. the older the better. but anyway,, i really really really. really enjoyed the indonesian service. the songs and the preach and everything,, i miss it so much. at the very end before the mass ended, at the announcement session, the announcer asked people to stand up if it’s their first time visit this church. so i stood up. then all the masses clapping. didn’t get it why are they clapping for me. /:

lucky me,, 8 days ago was my country’s independence day. there were a small party for it. some people sang national songs from “17 agustus”, “bengawan solo”, “begini nasib jadi bujangan”, etc.. they also danced, and there were also “makan kerupuk” contest,, which is very local and fun. and we had fun!! i had so much fun,, i couldn’t stop laughing realized how much i miss those songs, the contest, the red-white indonesian flag, and ALSO,, some local snacks : bodin goreng, pukis and onde! i never tried onde before,, and also not pukis nor bodin fans,, but you know,, once you abroad,, you kinda want to eat those local things you’re not interested before. i met 2 nice guys who quickly became friends and asked my number. idk what’s with guys-asking-my-number-at-the-church thing.

but anywho,, near the church, there’s Great World City shopping center. well, i must say it’s not as great as its name. i was hoping h&m or forever21,, but couldn’t find them there. it just reminded me about the skirt i must buy at Dorothy Perkins after the payday.

so, besides the indonesian preach, the local songs, celebrating my national day, circling around a shopping mall,, i had great times today! :D

the unique point about this church? there are indonesian masses every 2nd & 4th sunday of the month at 3:30pm.

i can not find the wiki about this church. so here’s the web :

St. Bernadette of Lourdes

st.bernadette01st.bernadette02 st.bernadette03Bernadette Soubirous was born in Lourdes on 7th. January 1844 to François Soubirous and Louise Castérot. Born into a humble family which little by little fell into extreme poverty, Bernadette had always been a frail child. Quite young, she had already suffered from digestive trouble, then after having just escaped being a victim of the cholera epidemic of 1855, she experienced painful attacks of asthma, and her ill health almost caused her to be cut off for ever from the religious life.

St. Bernadette was born at Lourdes, France. Her parents were very poor and she herself was in poor health. One Thursday, February 11, 1858, when she was sent with her younger sister and a friend to gather firewood, a very beautiful Lady appeared to her above a rose bush in a grotto called Massabielle. The lovely Lady was dressed in blue and white. She smiled at Bernadette and then made the sign of the cross with a rosary of ivory and gold. Bernadette fell on her knees, took out her own rosary and began to pray the rosary. The beautiful Lady was God’s Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. She appeared to Bernadette seventeen other times and spoke with her. She told Bernadette that she should pray sinners, do penance and have a chapel built there in her honor. Many people did not believe Bernadette when she spoke of her vision. She had to suffer much. But one day Our Lady told Bernadette to dig in the mud. As she did, a spring of water began to flow. The next day it continued to grow larger and larger. Many miracles happened when people began to use this water. When Bernadette was older, she became a nun. She was always very humble. More than anything else, she desired not to be praised. Once a nun asked her if she had temptations of pride because she was favored by the Blessed Mother. “How can I?” she answered quickly. “The Blessed Virgin chose me only because I was the most ignorant.” What humility!

She then joined the Sisters at their motherhouse at Nevers at the age of 22. She spent the rest of her brief life there, working as an assistant in the infirmary and later as a sacristan, creating beautiful embroidery for altar cloths and vestments. She later contracted tuberculosis of the bone in her right knee. She had followed the development of Lourdes as a pilgrimage shrine while she still lived at Lourdes, but was not present for the consecration of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception there in 1876. She eventually died of her long-term illness at the age of 35 on 16 April 1879. Her body was laid to rest in the Saint Gildard Convent.