Most Rev. Valerian M. Okeke reconsecrating and entrusting the Archdiocese and Anambra State to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the presence of Bishop Denis Isizor, Priests, religious and many faithful at the event of Archdiocese of Onitsha concluding her Marian Year Celebration.
Onitsha Archdiocese Stages Grand Finale of 100 Years Anniversary of Blessed Virgin Mary's Apparition at Fatima
Onitsha Archdiocese was in a jubilation mood penultimate Saturday October 28, 2017 when the church leaders and the faithful gathered in their large numbers for the celebration of grand finale of 100 years anniversary of the Blessed Virgin Mary's physical appearance at Fatima, Portugal.
The epoch-making event attracted the presence of the Chief Shepherd of Onitsha Archdiocese His Grace Most Rev. Valerian M. Okeke, the auxiliary Bishop of Onitsha His Lordship Most Rev. Denis Chidi Isizoh, the executive Governor of Anambra state His Excellency Chief Willie Obiano (Akpokue Dike Global) represented by the state Secretary General (SSG) Prof Solo Chukwuobelu among others.
In his Homily, Archbishop Valerian reflected on 10 virtues of our Blessed Mother Mary and charged the people of God to imitate the virtues of Mary the mother of Christ.
According to the Prelate, the First Virtue is Mary's faith in God. “In the book of Luke chapter 1 verse 45, Mary demonstrated faith when Angel Gabriel visited her with a message from God and she responded by saying “Let it be done according to your will o Lord”. Apart from this from the time of birth of Jesus Christ to the time of his crucifixion, Mary stood still and was not shaken in her faith even though she knew those trials and challenges will come.
The second Virtue is the Love of Mary. In Luke chapter I verses 39-40, Angel Gabriel told Mary about her sister's pregnancy. Mary left everything and went to Elizabeth's house and spent three months assisting in house chores. Mary practiced love in action and she is still doing same even our time.
The third is Mary's Humility. She was humble and demonstrated obedience to the will of God. Her humility is exceptional and outstanding. Every Christian should strive to imitate the humility of our Mother Mary.
The Fourth Virtue is Compassion. Mercy is compassion in action. The condition of others affects Mary a lot. In John chapter 2 verses 3 Our Mother Mary out of compassion said to Jesus “They have no wine.” She is a mother that won’t allow her children to be put to shame.
The Fifth one is Mary's Generosity. Whatever things Mary has, she will distribute to others. She is not selfish with everything she has. Mary is a woman of generosity. In Luke chapter 1 verse 23 bible tells us that Mary is full of grace and she is sharing same grace.
The Sixth Virtue is Mary's Patience. The bible tells us that even when she was told of what will happen to her concerning the crucifixion of Jesus, she kept these things and continue to ponder them in her heart. She was patient and was praying. In her patience, she always emerges victorious.
The Seventh One is Mary's Sacrifice. She sacrificed with her life. Living a life of virgin involves sacrifice. She was a woman of sacrifice. In Luke chapter 2 verse 35 an Angel of God told Mary that a sword will pierce her soul. She suffered and sacrificed all through her life with happiness, faith, patience and with joy and all her sacrifices was fruitful and was blessed by the Lord. A life without sacrifice is not worth living. As Christians we should sacrifice by giving out to others from our little resources. When you pay hospital bill for a stranger who cannot afford to do that, you are making sacrifice.
You can sacrifice with your wealth, good behavior, handwork and other things for the good of the next person in need.
The Eight Virtue is Mary's Purity. Life of purity is for all whether you are a priest, a married person or you are single. It is a kind of life that attracts blessings and grace from God.
John de Apostle gained great favours from God because of his purity. He was the Apostle Jesus handed over his Mother to when he said “Son this is your Mother and Mother this is your Son. Apart from that it was only John that died a natural death among the apostles. In other words, his purity gained him special favours and grace from God.
Matthew chapter 5 verse 8, 'Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. Mary is the model of life that is pure'.
The Ninth Virtue is Mary's Prayer Life. When the Angel Gabriel delivered message to Mary, she continued to pray. In her prayer she shows knowledge of the bible, humility, faith and thanksgiving. Mary is a model of thanksgiving prayer. St Paul tells us that in all things give thanks. If you want your prayers to be effective, always give thanks. Mary is a model of prayer life and a life of gratitude.
The tenth but not the least is the Meditation. She speaks a little but reflects a lot. There is so much noise in our lives. Let us learn how to be silent in our life so that we can hear the voice of God”.
Archbishop Val further called on faithful to imitate the virtue of our mother Mary, stating her virtues are many. “If you are a true child of Mary by imitating her virtues, she will never allow you to get lost,” the prelate posited.
High point of the event was reconsecration of Onitsha Archdiocese and Anambra state to the Immaculate heart of Mary.
The chairman Maria Year Committee Fr. Pius Uche Ukor who spoke at the event appreciated Archbishop Val and his Auxiliary Bishop Isizoh for their great support towards the success of the event. He also commended the executive Governor of Anambra state Chief Willie Obiano for donating the giant Statue of Our Blessed Mother that was enthroned that day.
Governor Obiano who was represented by SSG Prof Chukwulobelu in a speech expressed happiness over the grand finale. He also urged Anambrarians and those resident in the state to support him during the forthcoming election.