Vissia Hernandez

A Visit to Tepeyac, Mexico

By Vissia Hernandez

We celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the secondary Patroness of the Philippines and Protectress of Unborn Children, on December 12. Tepeyac, or the Hill of Tepeyac, Mexico, is where the Blessed Virgin appeared to San Juan Diego in 1531. The shrine of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, Our Lady of Guadalupe, is one of the most visited in the world. Vissia Hernandez has written previously for Misyon.

Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe
Detail of the face

‘It’s like Baclaran’, was my first impression, as I got off the city bus. Stores and stalls selling everything from recuerdos y zapatos (souvenirs and shoes) to comidas y bebidas (food and drink) line both sides of a pedestrian area leading to La Villa (‘the town’, referring to the Basilica compound). A brisk five-minute walk away, behind a tall fence, towers an ancient brick church – the old Basilica, with its imposing yellow dome, twin bell-towers and ornate facade.

Joy in Service

By Vissia Hernandez

The Missionaries of Charity is a Catholic religious congregation founded in 1950 by an Albanian-born, Indian Catholic nun who dedicated her life ministering to ‘the unwanted, the unloved, the uncared for’ from the slums of Kolkata, India, to missions across six continents. In 2003, she was beaitified by Pope John Paul II as Blessed Teresa of Kolkata.

In addition to the religious vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, Missionaries of Charity take a fourth vow, to give ‘wholehearted and free service to the poorest of the poor’.

I was a bit hesitant and concerned as I began my interview with Sister Ligaya MC in the Missionaries of Charity’s Formation House in Tayuman St, Tondo, Manila. But an hour later, I came away blessed from a most inspiring encounter.

In June 1990, a car accident in Pakistan left the newly professed missionary from Davao severely brain-damaged. That Sister Ligaya miraculously survived and continues to faithfully and (like her name, the Tagalog for ‘joy’ or ‘happiness’) joyfully serve the poor, the sick and the dying, are testaments to the Lord’s Divine Mercy and the industrial-strength faith and devotion of her MC Sisters and their beloved foundress.

Reflections On Silence And Word: Path Of Evangelization, Theme For World Communications Day 2012

By Vissia Hernandez

Last May 12, I attended a seminar organized by the Social Communications Ministry of the Archdiocese of Manila which recognizes the boundless potential for Evangelization in utilizing Parish-level communications media (newsletters, websites, bulletin boards, videos including social media: text, Facebook, Twitter, , etc). We were celebrating, a week in advance, the 46th World Communications Day, established by Pope Paul VI as a consequence of Inter Mirifica, the 1963 Decree on the Media of Social Communications of Vatican II, to coincide with the Solemnity of the Ascension when Christ directed His apostles to ‘Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature’ (Mk 16:15).