Rosa Mystica Medical Mission 2016 - Philippines

Source: District of Asia

The Rosa Mystica medical mission to the Philippines visited General Santos this year, to celebrate its 10th Anniversary. The mission began on the 8th February and lasted till the 14th of February.

2,500 patients, 150 Volunteers, 21 Catechists, 500+ hours of Catechism, 497 Scapulars, 193 Knights of the Immaculata, 50 Confessions, other invisible graces...

Deprived of so many helpers in the fabric of society, it often appears that the Priest, the catechist, and Our Lady of Fatima Herself have only the spiritual domain for their works.  Politics, medicine, social welfare programs have long been removed from the healthy atmosphere created by the Church and operate exclusively for human rights.  This fact that men’s physical and social needs are removed today from the sources of Grace is one of the sorrows of Mary’s Immaculate Heart.  But She desires that the Kingdom of Her Son come, that He reign in souls by His law, that He help their bodies through healing remedies placed in nature, and that He help their families by wise governance.

A small image of this divine plan took place in General Santos during the Rosa Mystica Medical Mission.  Numbering more than 150,  volunteers converged in Lagao, General Santos, Philippines, around the unfinished Rosa Mystica Church.  They were Doctors and nurses, soldiers and police, drivers and sweepers, Catechists and carpenters, Sisters and Priests.  Half of these volunteers worked in the front of the Church to receive and sort patients, another half worked in the rear, supporting the Doctors, while the Catechists and Priests worked within the Church itself.  Church and state collaborated both outside and inside the Church giving a small idea of what things might look like during the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Imagine the arrival of patients via Jeepney, tricycle and on foot, entering a line marked registration, behind which stands the unfinished Rosa Mystica Church.  Each day, there are more than 150, but most of them arrive in groups in the morning, so this means a busy line of registrants, followed by several busy lines of pulse-taking nurses recording vital signs and the body weight of the patients, filling out their registration cards in prelude to the wait to see the Doctors. 

From these preliminary steps, they file into what is called the Parish hall, unfinished, and separated from the Sanctuary by an 8 foot expandable wall, which doesn’t prevent participants from seeing the statue of Our Lady of Fatima over the Main Altar.  As the more than 100 patients find a seat in this parish hall, Catechists from the Legion of Mary gather them in circles, and fill the waiting time with catechism, consisting in a brief summary of the Faith focusing on explaining the essential meaning of the Brown Scapular.  Little children will be found coloring images of Our Lady and the Saints under the direction of Sister Mary Alma. 

During a serious period of catechism, punctuated by patients leaving the parish hall-waiting room to line up for their Doctor, patients are instructed in the brief essentials of the Faith and are tested concerning their knowledge of the Rosary and the Hail Mary.  Once a certain level of understanding has been achieved, the waiting patients are brought by groups of varying numbers, into the Chapel and before the Altar, where they are invested in the Brown Scapular.  There, before Our Lady, the Priest will receive them, give a supplemental talk on the meaning of the Scapular, and enroll them in the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.  Following this, they hear a brief explanation of the Militia Immaculatae.  A fruitful system that, through Mary’s prayers, resulted in more than 30 % of those who received the Scapular  consecrated themselves to the Immaculata on the Sunday Mass following the Mission.

Meanwhile, in the offices, unfinished too, that are built behind the Church along the Sacristy wall and running one basement deep and one storey high, up to 7 Doctors and their teams of nurses are attending to the three categories of the infirm:  the adults, the children, and the folk with bad teeth.  From 9:00 AM until the evening, the Doctors hardly have time to cram down a packed lunch as they see patient after patient.

It can be said that people who came for the healing of their bodies, found medicine for their souls also.  It can also be said that perhaps this spiritual medicine will be of short duration.  Well, the same is true of pharmaceuticals.  What we can say is that 497 souls received the Scapular, and that out of these, 193 consecrated themselves to Our Lady in the Militia Immaculatae, while another 50 cleansed their souls in the Sacrament of Confession.  We can’t say much of those who held back, watched and listened, and pondered – seeds were  sown.   And all of this in the middle of a crowd of busy volunteers, doctors, soldiers, ambulances, crying children, in short, in the middle of 2,500 patients.  It is really an image from the Gospels themselves, wherein people of all sorts, surrounding Our Lord (the Church), gathered by Our Lady (Rosa Mystica, MI), seeking the healing of their body, and getting also the healing of the soul. 

The Medical Mission in General Santos was the most recent in a line of many Medical Missions that began in General Santos 10 years ago and that have ranged the Philippines from South to North.  They are the particular work of corporal mercy organized and performed by professional Doctors and Nurses under the umbrella of the organization ACIM Asia. This Association of Catholic Nurses (Infirmieres) and Doctors (Medecins) is the fruit of an inspiration from the heart of Dr. Jean-Pierre Dickes, a good Catholic Doctor who envisaged doing something for the poor, and for the Church.  He dreamed  that he might see something like a real Catholic Medical Mission reproducing itself in many places.  A Medical Mission where the curing of the body is a sort of preparation for the curing of the soul, and a sign of the vitality of the Catholic Church, the Mother of all men.  Where Catholic Tradition truly thrives, so too must the works of mercy, both corporal and spiritual.

The high point of the Mission was the blessing of Rosa Mystica Church.  This colossal edifice built upon the foundation of a small garage chapel that could hold 70 suffocating people is the result of the personal sacrifices of Dr. Dickes.  From personal financial sacrifices, Dr. Dickes gave the largest part of the funds that have enabled the Church to rise.  In spiritual supplement, former patients of past Rosa Mystica missions, who not only turned to God through them but became Mission workers, were on hand for the ceremony as Altar boys and organization volunteers in their own turn.   The Blessing of the Church itself was attended by a crowd of 800, most of whom crammed into the Church, which is designed to seat about 350.  These souls were anxious to thank Our Lady for the graces received, and perhaps also to see Dr. Dickes himself once again.   He was seated in the front row, giving heartfelt thanks to God as he was surrounded by children sitting on the floor in front of his pew and lining the aisles of the packed Church.  His vision had become a reality.

Rosa Mystica Herself showed Her blessing and intervention by inspiring 193 people to consecrate themselves to Her after the Mass, in the ceremony of enrollment in the Militia Immaculatae.  This symbolic guarantee of the future of the Rosa Mystica Mission is a pledge of the Immaculata’s continued protection and beneficence to Her servants, for She who inspires generosity, knows how to sustain it.

 Ave Maria!