A statue of the Virgin Mary and the Infant Jesus is set at a makeshift altar before a pile of stones that was the 180-year-old Our Lady of Light Church in Loon, Bohol province, a day after a 7.2-magnitude quake destroyed the church.
Two statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary stand—without any blemish—amid the ruins of two churches in Maribojoc and Loon towns following Tuesday’s devastating earthquake. It was enough for residents to raise their hopes that life will get better. “It was a miracle,” Carol Ann Balansag said after residents of Barangay (village) Poblacion were surprised to find the 18th-century statue standing askew but without any scratch on the rubble of what used to be the Santa Cruz Parish Church.
The same feeling of amazement was felt by at least 600 people staying in makeshift tents on the church grounds of the Our Lady of Light Parish Church in Barangay Napu in Loon town. They were teary-eyed when they saw the grotto of the Birhen sa Kasilag (Our Lady of Light). “The earthquake destroyed the church, but it spared our patron,” said Fr. Tom Balatayo, one of the residents.
A large earthquake hit the southern Philippines. It's epicenter was the island of Bohol. It also occurred in the nearby island of Cebu. The death count is 160+, and 250+ injured. The people noticed a pattern. The main buildings to collapse were the old churches. In several of these churches the only thing that remained standing was a statue of Mary.
Yet, the most profound sign came from the most visited Marian Shrine in the Philippines on the island of Cebu, called Mama Mary shrine. There is a large, miraculous statue of Mary in this shrine, that has cried and cured many pilgrims. In the same church there is another statue of Mary, that appears to be Our Lady of Fatima. It has a base with the word "Portugal" on it. This base is continuous with the statue. They are one piece. The base cannot be detached from the body. Otherwise the statue would be broken into two pieces.
Here is the great miracle, which seems to be a message, a warning from Our Lady of Fatima. Right after the earthquake, pilgrims noticed and cried out in alarm that this statue had changed. Mary was now facing the wall, with her back to the people. But, the base itself, molded to the body of the statue, was still facing forward with the "Portugal" inscription!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! May Pope Francis and the world's bishops do as Our Lady requested.