Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Hospital wins praise for handling of Virgin Mary phenomenon

Sime Darby Medical Centre in Subang Jaya has earned the appreciation of the church and lay people for its handling of the sighting an image apparently of the Blessed Virgin Mary on a seventh-floor window.

Fr Simon Labroy, parish priest of Subang Jaya, praised the hospital for handling the matter in a gracious and respectful manner. “The hospital has been very helpful and gracious by offering to take it (glass panel) down for us to verify,” he told Yahoo News.

Lay people reported that the hospital had erected marquees, distributed bottles of water, and arranged for traffic and crowd control.

A reminder was placed at the ground floor reminding visitors to also be respectful of the needs of hospital patients, Yahoo News reported. The notice said: “While we understand that you need to pray, please be considerate towards our patients who are trying to recuperate. As such, kindly maintain an appropriate volume.”

The hospital has agreed to give the Catholic Church the window panel, which will be taken to St Thomas More church in Subang Jaya before being handed over to Our Lady of Lourdes church in Klang, which is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary in honour of apparitions before several people on separate occasions in Lourdes, France. In many countries a mass is said on Feb 11 in her honour.

The Catholic church has a rigorous set of procedures for verification of apparitions, which must be approved by the bishop before it is accepted as an occasion for veneration. Catholics are not required to believe in private apparitions.

More than 500 apparitions have been reported throughout the centuries, but the church has recognised only those of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Laus, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, La Salette, Pontmain, Fatima, Beauraing, Banneux, Our Lady of Akita, and Lourdes

 Marian apparitions

Our Lady of Lourdes is a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary invoked by Roman Catholics in honor of the Marian apparitions which are said to have taken place before various individuals on separate occasions around Lourdes, France.

Most prominently among these is the apparition of February 11, 1858, when Saint Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old peasant girl admitted to her mother that a "lady" spoke to her in the cave of Massabielle, (a mile from the town) while gathering firewood with her sister and a friend.[1] Similar appearances of the "lady" were reported on seventeen further occasions that year.

Bernadette Soubirous was later canonized as a Saint, and Roman Catholics and some Protestants believe her apparitions have been validated by the overwhelming popularity and testament of healings claimed to have taken place at the Lourdes water spring.

In 1862, Pope Pius IX authorized the Bishop Bertrand-Sévère Laurence to permit the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lourdes. In this Marian title, Our Lady of Lourdes has been widely copied and reproduced, often displayed in shrines or homes, most notably in garden landscape.

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