News : Oyo Diocese Officially Concludes the Marian year

Posted on: 2017-12-11
Source: Comms Dept, Oyo Diocese

The Bishop of Oyo diocese, Most Rev Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo, the priests, the Religious (male and female) and the faithful of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo gathered at Tede (in Atisbo Local Government Area of Oyo State) to celebrate the 19th Diocesan Marian pilgrimage and the official closing of the Marian year for the centenary Apparitions of Our Lady to the three children at Fatima in Portugal.

The pilgrims gathered at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church, Tede for Bible service at 3.00pm on Friday, 8th of December, 2017 with powerful Bible teaching done by Rev. Fr. Ferdinand Olabode on the theme: "They have no wine". Prayers were said for different intentions and the clergy with the entire people of God with their candles burning and songs of joy processed to mountain top.

The programme on the mountain top featured different forms of prayers and devotions like Rosary, Adoration of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, penitential/healing service (with the opportunity for individual confession and anointing), songs and praise worship, dramas that enhance the spirit to be drawn closer to God and ultimately. The entire programme was concluded with the  celebration of Holy Mass (for the Immaculate conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary).

During his homily at the Mass, the Local Ordinary of the diocese, Most Rev. Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo, gave thanks to God for all the favours we have received from Him and also for the unusual rain - showers of blessings - that we experienced during this year’s pilgrimage, which brought a lot of peace to all of us. He said we should not be afraid to tell the world that Mary is the Mother of Jesus and that God blesses her greatly than any other human person. Quoting from the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians , “Blessed are you Lord of heaven and earth who has given us the spiritual blessings from the heavenly places”. One of those Spiritual blessings God has given us he said, is an opportunity that we have to proclaim to the world that Mary is no ordinary woman. Many people don’t know this but we, catholics who know should use every avenue we have to tell the world this. We see from the Scriptures that God honors her and we are not ashamed to say this. Those who say Mary is an envelope should point out where they see that from the Bible. Sin came into the world through the disobedience of a woman (Eve) and also through obedience of another woman (Mary), salvation comes into the world. This message was delivered by one of the most powerful angels of God, Gabriel; Elizabeth filled with the Holy Spirit said she was blessed that the mother of her Lord visited her and Mary herself emphasized this favour of God by saying "all generations will call her blessed". If anyone therefore says that Mary should not be honored, such a person is not a human being since all generations is to call her blessed. The chief shepherd of Oyo Diocese continued to explain why Mary is different from us, and how she is without sin (both Original sin and actual sin). He said, it is true that Mary is without sin because God decided to make her so and who can question God for doing that? Jonah in the Bible questioned him and Job also questioned Him but later apologized for that. We are all evangelizers and when we talk about Mary, we must use the right language.

In the episode of Cana in Galilee during the wedding feast, Mary told her son “they have no wine”. At that moment, Jesus was not ready to do the miracle but the mother turned to the disciples and said “do whatever he tells you”. This means that the mother knew the Son very well and the Son also never averted the instruction of the mother. Some of our mothers today don’t know what their children are capable of doing and some children too don’t obey their mothers because the parents are not responsible. In the case of Mary however, that was not, Jesus obeyed her promptly. On the other hand, Jesus never called the couple, he told those who were there to fetch water and they also never said it was not their responsibility to do so. That is a lesson for us all pilgrims to always help others and never to say people’s problems are not our own. Mary still calls the attention of God to the problems of the world, of our societies and of our families. The apparitions at Fatima and in other places are telling us that she is calling the attention of God to our problems but we as servants must obey by doing what Jesus tells us. If you look for miracles and wonders ask yourself too, do you obey the commandments of God? 

Indeed, the 2017 Oke Maria Annual Pilgrimage was a successful one as the pilgrims went back home rejoicing with increased faith. Present also were the care taker chairman of ATISBO local Government, Alhaji Hon. Wasiu Owolabi Akogun, The Alayegun of Ayegun, Oba Emmanuel Alao and the Onitede of Tede, Oba Abdul Raufu Oladoyin, Eerun II with the wife and  chiefs.