Thursday of the Third Week of Easter. (Feast of Our Lady Queen and Mother of Africa). Reflection by Rev Fr Oselumhense Anetor (Uromi Diocese)
Acts 1:12-14; Jn. 2:1-11
Have you ever seen the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Grotto of Sts Peter and Paul Major Seminary, Bodija, Ibadan? Well, I lived with this statue for nine years. It was the first dark-skinned statue of Mary I ever saw. I believe the White Fathers had a hand in this. You see, the title “Our Lady Queen of Africa” cannot be separated from the history of the White Fathers and White sisters in Algiers. The bronze dark-hued statue of Mary was first erected to protect the early French missionaries from the hostility of the Moslems (Muhammedans) in the dark continent as far back as 1857. But it became not just an object of honour among Christians, but also amongst the Moslems themselves.
Mary is known for her intercession in difficult moments. Take her intervention at the wedding feast in Canaan for instance. She’s the mother of Jesus Christ. She knows how to make requests of her son. Why do we continue to be afraid of Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen, ISIS and other agents of terror in our continent? Some years ago, Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme of Maiduguri Diocese spoke of a vision in which Jesus gave him a sword which turned into a rosary, as the tool through which Boko Haram will be defeated. Recently, the Holy Father Pope Francis encouraged us to prepare to pray through Mary this coming Month of May. Bring out your rosaries my friends! Let us pray through our Mother for an end to the coronavirus.
Our Lady Queen of Africa, pray for us to God.
Happy last day of the month!