Redemptorist, Baclaran, Philippines
Novena - Letters
Every week, hundreds of Petition and Thanksgiving letters are received at the Shrine. Many are from foreign lands wherever Filipinos happen to be. The more significant Thanksgiving letters are kept on file.
An important feature of the Perpetual Novena is the reading of letters addressed to Our Mother of Perpetual Help. This was a significant way for people to express their concrete everyday problems through prayer. Baclaran community comes together every week to read all thanksgiving letters and classifies them according to specific categories of blessings. Then a couple of letters is selected which will be read in all novena and masses every Wednesday. The thanksgiving letters are a testament to answered prayers which manifest the abundant graces that comes from God through perseverance in prayer. In many instances, these letters are as good as sermons in themselves or make good launching pads for sermons.
From the thanksgiving letters read every Wednesday, one important albeit hard insight that devotees learn is that in prayer they receive, not the answer which they desire, but the answer which God in his wisdom and his love knows to be best. Simply because they are human beings, with human hearts and fears and hopes and desires, most of their prayers are prayers for escape. They pray to be saved from some trial, some sorrow, some disappointment, some hurting and difficult situation. And always God's answer is the offer not of escape, but of victory. God does not give them escape from a human situation; he enables them to accept what they cannot understand; he enables them to endure what without him would be unendurable; he enables them to face what without him would be beyond all facing.
Perhaps you too have received many blessings from God through the intercession of our Mother of Perpetual Help. Share with us how you have experience the perpetual help of God through Mary. You can read our letter of the week so you can have the inspiration to write your own letter of thanksgiving.
Or perhaps you have some petitions which you have been praying for a long time. You can also write down your petitions, and send it to us so we can pray for your petitions as well as the thousands of devotees who flock to the shrine can pray for your peitions. Indeed, in the shrine, the petition of one becomes the petition of all.
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