Santa Maria de Camarino / Our Lady of Guam, Mariana Islands (1825), Patron of Guam – 14 April:
Our Lady of Guam, the miraculous Statue to which the natives have such deep devotion, is three feet high, all ivory from the delicate classical face of Our Lady to the hem of her exquisite gown. She has a head of long brown hair, adorned with a beautiful crown and golden rings hang from her tiny ears. According to the Jesuit history of the island, Our Lady’s coming was miraculous. A Spanish soldier, in the year 1825, was fishing a distance from the shore between the villages of Mirizo and Umatac, when he saw a strange object floating upon the waves. He moved closer and saw that it was a Statue, supported by giant golden crabs, holding lighted candles in their claws. The soldiers claiming the Statue as their own, installed it as Patroness in their barracks. They made a Shrine for her, a wall recess with doors like a cupboard or camarino, from which Our Lady of the Cupboard takes her name. She is called Santa Maria de Camarino.
She made her home for many years in the barracks but the atmosphere did not always please her. She would be found missing, only to return with the edge of her mantle full of burs. When the soldiers were drunk with coconut brew, she would slam the doors of her cupboard shut against them. No-one remembers how she came to leave the barracks for the Cathedral of Agana but on 14 April, a great earthquake occurred, terrorising the natives and destroying their homes. It is believed that on that day, she deserted the uncouth soldiers and showed herself to be the Patroness of the people and of Guam in particular. Many miracles of protection are attributed to Our Lady of Guam on this day.
On the eve of this day, the people place a lighted candle outside their tight-closed shutters, they do this in memory of their Fathers who made the promise to Santa Maria de Camarino. In 1825 and again in 1834, they vowed to celebrate yearly a special feast for her protection from Linao, the earthquake and Pagyo, the typhoon.
On its part the miraculous Statue has seen to it ,that no devout life has since that time been lost. Earthquakes and typhoons have come and left destruction, yet they have never taken one life or harmed the children of Santa Maria de Camarino, Our Lady of Guam. Such is the story of Our Lady of the Cupboard, the miraculous Virgin of Guam; to the eyes of fact simply a beautiful Statue, some three feet height, executed with all the refinement of eighteenth century art, yet to the eye of faith, she is power incarnate. She is all ivory, but where that ivory came from, or what artist fashioned those exquisite hands, she alone can tell, just as she is the only one who knows the truth of her coming to Guam. The Statue has real human hair and two crowns are used to dress the Statue. One of the crowns is made from gold pieces given to the Church by the late Ana Martinez Underwood, who donated the gold pieces (given to her by her husband as a wedding gift) in thanksgiving for the safe return of her husband from prison camp following World War II.
One of the more famous miraclesis that of a great earthquake in 1902, when the Dulce Nombre de Maria Church was severely damaged. Many of the Statues were broken but not that of Our Lady of Camarin, which the Priest, Father José Palomo, found standing intact on the ground.
The Statue also survived fire, when on 8 December 1945, it was rescued from a burning float by Jose D Leon Guerrero.
Because the Statue has suffered discolourations, nicks and other minor defects in the course of time, minor repairs have been made. According to one story, during one occasion when repairs were being made, the scraping of her face was too rough and the face began to bleed.
Other miracles attributed to her include, belief in her powers of intercession, cures of dreadful diseases and safe removal from great danger. She has long been considered, the protectress of the island and its people. Flags of various nations have flown over the royal coconut trees of Agana, admirals and governors have come and gone and each, in his proper time, has departed. Spanish architecture has had its day and the Seabee buildings mushroomed all over the island. Yet, Santa Maria de Camarino abides through all changes to cherish her strangely chosen people. She reigns affectionately in the hearts of the people, the natives, as their Queen and Patroness.
When American Marines and Soldiers during the latter part of July, 1944, captured the island of Guam, the native population was, for the most part, Catholic. The Faith was brought there, no doubt, by Spanish Priests who accompanied Magellan when he sailed around the world. And Mary, Our Lady of Guam, Our Lady of the Cupboard, loves them and protects them.
St Abundius the Sacristan
St Antony of Vilna
St Ardalion the Actor
St Benezet the Bridge Builder
St Bernhard of Tiron
St Domnina of Terni
St Eustace of Vilna
St Fronto of Nitria
St John of Monte Marano
St John of Vilna
St Lambert of Lyon Bl Lucien Botovasoa (1908-1947) Martyr Blessed Lucien’s life: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/04/14/saint-of-the-day-14-april-blessed-lucien-botovasoa-o-f-s-1908-1947-martyr/
St Lydwina of Schiedam (1380-1433)
St Maximus of Rome St Peter Gonzalez OP (1190 – 1246) About St Peter: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/04/14/saint-of-the-day-14-april-blessed-peter-gonzalez-o-p/
St Tassach of Raholp
St Thomaides of Alexandria
St Tiburtius of Rome
St Valerian of Trastevere
Our Morning Offering – 14 April – Saturday of the Second Week of Eastertide and the Memorial of Bl Lucien Botovasoa O.F.S. (1908-1947) Martyr
Prayer to Do the Will of God By St Francis of Assisi (1181/82-1226)
Almighty, eternal, just and merciful God,
grant us in our misery, the grace to do for You alone
what we know You want us to do
and always to desire what pleases You.
Thus, inwardly cleansed,
and inflamed by the fire of the Holy Spirit,
may we be able to follow
in the footprints of Your beloved Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ.
And, by Your grace alone,
may we make our way to You, Most High,
Who live and rule in perfect Trinity
and simple Unity
and are glorified God
all-powerful forever and ever.
Saint of the Day – 14 April – Blessed Lucien Botovasoa O.F.S. (1908-1947) Martyr, Layman, Father, Multi-lingual Schoolteacher, Catechist, Franciscan Tertiary, Musician and Singer. Blessed Lucien was born in 1908 in Vohipeno, Madagascar and died by being beheaded with a sword between 10pm and midnight on 14 April 1947 on the banks of the Mattanana River near Ambohimanarivo, Manakara, Madagascar. He was wearing his tertiary “uniform” – khaki shirt and trousers with a black cord for a belt. His body was tossed into the river.
Bl Lucien was a Madagascan Roman Catholic schoolteacher and a professed member from the Secular Franciscan Order. He served as a teacher for his entire life and was dedicated to both the religious and secular education of children. His thirst for the religious life led him to discover the Secular Franciscan Order in 1940 and he became part of it; he rallied others to know Saint Francis of Assisi and enter the order themselves. Botovasoa likewise adopted the Franciscan charism for himself through his fasting and clothing habits.
Botovasoa’s murder came during a period of tumult in Madagascar and his cause for canonisation opened on 11 October 2011 under Pope Benedict XVI in which he became titled as a Servant of God. Pope Francis confirmed in mid-2017 that Botovasoa was killed in hatred of his faith and decreed that he was to be beatified; it shall be celebrated in Vohipeno, Madasgascar tomorrow, the Third Sunday of Easter, 15 April 2018.
Lucien Botovasoa was born in 1908 in Vohipeno, a rural town in the southeast of Madagascar, the province of Fianarantsoa.
In 1918 he began studies in the state school and then proceeded to the Jesuit College of St Joseph in Ambozontany. In 1928 he concluded the studies and was awarded the teaching diploma and in the same year became a parish teacher in Vohipeno, making his own the motto of the Society of Jesus: Ad maiorem Dei gloriam.
On 10 October 1930 he married Suzanna Soazana in the parish church of Vohipeno and on the following 12 September was born Vincent de Paul Hermann, the first of their eight children, of which only five survived. The Servant of God was an excellent teacher, working not only as the village teacher but also in the parish, with generous availability to the needy. In addition to Malagasy, he knew French, Latin, German, and Chinese. He was an exceptional musician and appreciated as a singer, becoming also the director of the parish choir. He was also an athlete and is described as always smiling and joyful.
In 1940 the Servant of God stumbled upon the Rule of the Franciscan Third Order and it became for him a text for study and meditation. He decided to take up himself this following of Christ, with investiture in the habit of the Franciscan Third Order on 18 December 1944. He thus began to live a poor life of Franciscan spirituality, characterised by a deep piety and by the burning desire to bring the gospel everywhere.
After the Second World War, in the years 1946-1947, there grew in Madagascar the desire for independence from France. In 1946, as supporter of independence, Tsimihoño, from the Clan of Ambohimanarivo, became king (Mpanjaka). At Vohipeno there were also violent clashes between the two factions. On 30 March 1947, Palm Sunday, the parish church was burned and so began the king’s hunt for the ‘Christian teacher,’ Lucien Botovasoa, who was respected by both the Catholics and others in Vohipeno. Lucien was commanded to appear, or his family would be massacred.
The Servant of God, realising what was happening, entrusted his wife and children to his brother and returned to Vohipeno. Around nine o’clock in the evening of 17 April 1947, his brother André and two cousins, under threat of death, were charged with arresting Lucien. Brought to the house of the king Tsimihoño, he was condemned to death without any trial. Arriving at the place of execution he knelt and was beheaded while he was praying for his murderers. His body was thrown in the river.