MANILA, July 23, 2013—Behind every story of success is a loving mother who has relentlessly supported her children.

This was the message relayed by Fr. Joseph Walter Villamiel, a registered nurse who chose to devote his life to the priestly ministry, as he emphasized the important role played by the Blessed Virgin Mary to God’s plan of salvation.

Villamiel said that the rich history of the Catholic Church would lose sense and meaning without Mary who has unceasingly loved, cared, and guided Christ in achieving His mission of saving mankind from sin.

“Mary brings with her the greatest blessing in the history of man—the word of God. She is not only the mother of Christ but the whole of mankind as she chose to open her heart and accept everyone who longs to experience the loving care of a devoted mother,” he said in his homily during the Katolikong Pinoy recollection held at the San Carlos Seminary last Saturday.

He related the sincere devotion of the Blessed Virgin with the popular piety expressed by most mothers to the Divine, saying the faith they possess serves as a source of hope that fuels their love for their children.

Nursing experience 

As a practicing nurse back in his early days, Villamiel shared instances wherein he was able to witness how one’s sincere faith has sustained an individual to surpass the challenges that has come along his way.

He related the story of a mother who was critically on the verge of fighting for her life.

Villamiel shared that every time he visits her as part of his daily rounds in the hospital, he reads her psalms and gospel verses—an act that has helped normalize the latter’s fluctuating heart rate.

“As a nurse, I was able to see how this ailing mother used her faith to be sustained so she may eventually go back to her family,” he said.

Let Mary come to your lives

Villamiel urged the faithful to strengthen their devotion to the Holy Mother so they may experience the same sustenance and loving presence experienced by the ailing mother in his story.

“Let us all welcome the Blessed Virgin Mary into our hearts. In this act of acceptance, we have to be reminded to wholeheartedly embrace and emulate Marian virtues of love and care for others,” he said.

He noted that just like Mary, the laity must learn to humble themselves and profess their faith only to one God, adding that the hardships Mary has gone through will serve as the light and guidance of more faithful generations to come.

“Mary has endured a lot of pain for her son, Jesus. The light of hope in her heart will never die out as her loving presence guides the faithful closer to God,” he said, adding that the love she possesses is an ideal form of love as it involves the wholehearted sacrificing of oneself.

He urged the people to call on to Mary so she may guide them closer to the church, relieving them of their everyday struggles and feeling God’s loving presence in their day-to-day living.

“Let us all call on to our Holy Mother that she may lead us to the word of God. We also hope that she will guide us all toward sharing this blessing to our brothers and sisters who are also in need of spiritual sustenance,” he said. (Jennifer Orillaza)