Thousands attend fiesta Mass of San Padre Pio in Sto. Tomas, BatangasBy Josephine Darang
Philippine Daily Inquirer
AT least 10,000 people attended the blessing of the altar and the adoration chapel of the Shrine of St. Padre Pio in Barangay San Pedro in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, on Sept. 23, feast of the Franciscan stigmatist, said Fr. Jojo Gonda.
Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles blessed the shrine and officiated the Mass celebrated by seven other priests.
The shrine has grown from a small chapel to a shrine with the altar bearing a huge crucifix and below it a painting of San Padre Pio by Jun Torres.
Every 23rd of the month, a Healing Mass is celebrated by Father Gonda at 9 a.m.
Fr. Jojo reported: “The day began early at the Shrine. First Mass at 5 a.m. was said by Fr. Ericson Tio. It started with few people, but the Mass ended with over 5,000 people present.
“At the 7 a.m. Mass said by Fr. Russel Matuloy, all seats were taken. (We had prepared 6,500 chairs.) By the time the 8 a. m. Mass, led by Fr. Bert San Diego, OFM Cap., started, people were complaining about the traffic congestion and parking problems.
By the time Archbishop Arguelles celebrated the Mass, the congregation had grown to over 10,000, and traffic outside was at a standstill. “People were walking as far as 2 km from where they parked to go to the Shrine,” said Fr. Jojo.
Fr. Jayson Siapco said the Masses resumed at 3 p.m., in which 5, 000 people attended. “After the Mass, we had our procession in honor of Padre Pio,” said Fr. Siapco. “At 5 p. m, Msgr. Boy Oriondo led the celebration of the Holy Eucharist with six priests joining him. The Mass was probably attended by 8,000 people with no empty chairs and many people standing.”
“After the Mass, we had the healing rite, kissing of relics and anointing of people with special oil by the priests and nuns present. In the anointing of oil (not Chrism oil, but olive oil blessed by St. Padre Pio relics and Holy Water) were used. It was an amazing day filled with God’s miracles through St. Padre Pio’s intercessions. ”
Former newspaper reporter Jorge Cruz said St. Padre Pio miraculously interceded for the healing of his wife, Ging Cruz.
Cruz said he brought his wife to St. Luke’s Medical Center at 11 p.m. on Oct. 3, 2011 because she was complaining of a severe headache and high blood pressure. She was 70 years old.
Upon reaching the emergency room, she was given a shot of pain reliever, but she developed a seizure since her aneurysm had ruptured.
“That was the last time we saw her awake and in the next 29 days she was comatose at the Neuro-ICU with all the gadgets and respirator attached to her pale and bloated body,” said Cruz.
Worse, the next day, Cruz himself was also confined because of a heart problem. She was operated, but still she remained in a coma.
“In the next two days another brain operation was done to install a tube to her brain going to her stomach, so that the water would be separated from the blood, but still she remained unconscious and that was the time we were given a 10-percent survival and zero recovery.”
Cruz said “the most modern medical techniques” and” the joint efforts of 10 specialists” failed to revive his wife. She was later transferred after a month to a regular Neuro-room with only a 20-percent chance of survival and zero chance of recovery.
Praying to St. Padre Pio
On the morning of Nov. 1, 2011, Cruz’s son and his wife went to the National Center of St. Padre Pio in Libis, Quezon City and prayed to Padre Pio for him to intercede so that their could mother recover.
“At 3 p.m. (that day), a miracle happened in the presence of her neuro-doctor,” said Cruz. “She opened her eyes after 29 days (of comatose). It was, indeed, a gift from Padre Pio for my wife’s 71st birthday last Nov. 12, 2011.”
Her doctors called her feat a miracle since no 70-year-old patient with ruptured aneursym had survived before.
“Today my wife can eat on her own, walk and stand,” Cruz said. “Last week, the two specialist eye doctors were surprised that she had never developed any paralyzation of her eye with all the small veins in her eyes all intact.
“What more can we ask of Padre Pio? He gave us a gift we can never forget until our last breath. Maraming salamat po, Padre Pio, from the Cruz family.”
Although too embarrassed to ask again, Bonifacio Sison is again constrained to ask for the help of our readers, as he doesn’t have relatives to help him.
Sison is suffering from cancer of the prostate and needs help to buy medicines and undergo ultrasound.
Please text Bonifacio Sison at 0927-5560868. Please deposit donations at PNB Savings Account No. 520-614-100018 (Batac branch).
Thanks for your kindness.
St. Padre Pio, please help him.