Ask Fr. Francis – Annunication

Fr. Francis will address questions about the Annunication of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Publish date: 2018 - 12 - 1


To Jesus through Mary: Fr. Denis Kong

Many Catholics have a deep devotion to Our Lady. Marian shrines such as Fatima, Lourdes, and Medjugorje also attract thousands of pilgrims year after year. Fountain of Grace invited Fr. Denis Kong to share with us how Our Lady leads us to Jesus.
Publish date: 2018 - 10 - 6


Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about Apparition of Mary in Banneux, Belgium (2)

At the third Banneux apparition, Mariette asked Mary, “Who are you?” Mary replied, “I am the Virgin of the Poor.” She brought Mariette to a spring, saying, “This spring is for the sick of all nations.” On January 20th, Mary indicated that a chapel ought to be built at the site. The day after, Mariette dipped her Rosary into the spring. Mary told her, “I have come to lessen the sufferings of others.” On February 15th, Mary said, “Trust in me. I will trust in you.” On March 2nd, it rained heavily in the afternoon and stopped suddenly once Mary appeared at 7pm. Mariette spread her arms to welcome Mary, who looked even more beautiful, but had a stern unsmiling expression. She said, “I am the Mother of the Saviour, the Mother of God. Pray more.” She made the Sign of the Cross above Mariette’s head and said, “Farewell, until we meet again in God.” Mariette, knowing this was the last apparition, wept. Although Mary is in heaven, she still continually cares and intercedes for her children on earth.
Publish date: 2018 - 8 - 11


Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about Apparition of Mary in Banneux, Belgium

Mary also appeared to Mariette Beco at Banneux, Belgium in 1933 as Our Lady of Banneux. Mariette was the eldest of seven children. Her family was not pious and she stopped attending First Communion classes. But on January 15th, 1933, at 7pm, the eleven-year-old Mariette saw a woman clothed in white, wearing a blue sash, holding a Rosary, and with a flower at her feet through her kitchen window. Her mother also saw the white figure, but thought her a witch. Mariette, though, knew that she was the Virgin Mary, and began to pray the Rosary. The woman spoke inaudibly, and gestured to come inside, but Mariette’s mother would not allow it, and the woman disappeared. The next day, Mariette’s friends encouraged her to tell the priest about the apparition. After Mariette decided against it at the last minute, they did so in her stead. The priest initially believed that Mariette’s imagination was merely fuelled by the Beauraing apparitions. But Mariette began to seriously prepare for her First Communion, impressing the priest, who encouraged Mariette to tell him the truth. He said, “The woman you saw sounds very similar to the Lourdes apparition. Did you not just see a statue?” That night, Marita was moved to kneel in prayer at her family’s garden. Mary appeared again, and directed Mariette to run to a stream, and said, “Submerge your hands in it – it has been reserved for me. Farewell.” That night, the priest arrived at their home and Marita’s father, formerly a lukewarm believer, inspired by his daughter’s example, declared his intention to become a fervent believer again to the priest, and made a general confession.
Publish date: 2018 - 8 - 4


Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about Apparition of Mary at Beauring, Belgium

On November 29, 1932, Mary appeared to children in Beauring, Belgium as a blue-eyed, 18 to 20-year-old woman, holding a Rosary. One of the children asked, “Are you the Immaculate Virgin?” Mary smiled and nodded. “What do you want?” he asked. “Always be good.” Mary answered. The children would meet Mary again in the garden of their convent school. Once, Mary asked them to come on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. A large crowd followed the children at the place, and they saw the garden bathed in light by Mary. Some doctors examined the children and found them in the Spirit. Then, Mary disappeared, and the children tearfully cried, “She has left!” On December 17, Mary asked for a chapel to be built at the site, and four days later, she declared herself the Immaculate Virgin. On December 29, she bid the children farewell, extended her arms, and revealed her golden heart, hence the name “Virgin of the Golden Heart”. On January 3, her 33rd apparition, Mary said to Andree, “I am the Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven. You must pray constantly. Farewell.” To Fernande, she asked, “Do you love my Son? Do you love me?” She replied, “Yes.” Mary said, “Then sacrifice yourself for me.” Then Mary disappeared.
Publish date: 2018 - 7 - 28


Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about Apparition of Mary at Lourdes, France (4)

On July 16, 1858, the day of the final Lourdes apparition, the grotto was closed off. Accompanied by her aunts and neighbours, Bernadette saw the Virgin Mary at 8pm in a nearby field. That day, Mary appeared as in the brown scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and, just as in the final Fatima apparition in 1917, was silent. After this apparition, Bernadette became increasingly famous, and she retreated to a life of contemplation at a Sisters of Charity of Nevers convent. There, the Mother Superior was especially strict with her and gave her menial tasks, thinking the visions had made her proud. Later, her health failed, so she was assigned to stitching vestments. Once, a sister asked her whether she had ever been tempted to pride; she replied, “How could that be? Mary picked me because I am most ignorant!” Suffering from tuberculosis in her right knee, she grasped the cross, crying three times, “Repent!” and finally, “Blessed Mary, Mother of God, pray for me, a pitiful sinner!” Bernadette passed away on April 16, 1879, aged 35, and the people, on receiving the news, flocked to the convent, singing, “The saint has passed away!” In 1808, her body was exhumed at Nevers and discovered to be incorrupt. And in 1933, she was canonized.
Publish date: 2018 - 7 - 7


Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about Apparition of Mary at Lourdes, France (3)

On March 25, 1858, Mary appeared once more to Bernadette. First, Bernadette asked Mary for forgiveness for arriving late – Mary’s expression showed that she did not mind. Then, Bernadette thanked Mary for graciously appearing to her, and prayed the Rosary on her knees. After the idea strongly prompted her, she asked Mary three times for her name. The first two times, Mary merely bowed her head and smiled. But on the third time, Mary humbly folded her hands, gazed to Heaven, then spread her arms out, and said, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” Four years prior, Pope Pius IX had pronounced the Immaculate Conception as dogma. But the uneducated Bernadette did not know what the Immaculate Conception was, so she immediately went to the parish priest and said, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” The priest sent her home – he was now certain she had seen the Virgin Mary. On April 17, Bernadette held a candle which burned up to her hand for the fifteen minutes of the apparition in the sight of doctors but was unharmed. To test her, the doctors touched her hand with another candle after the apparition and Bernadette flinched, saying, “Why are you trying to burn me?”
Publish date: 2018 - 6 - 30

20180623 - Jackie Lau Title Rev 2 (0-00-06-20)

God's Paintbrush

Jackie Lau, a religious artist from Hong Kong, has hosted several exhibitions over the past decade. Prior to each exhibition, she has to draw a vast amount of paintings in a short time. What is it that motivates her to see drawing as her mission, to a point that she is willing to sacrifice for it?
Publish date: 2018 - 6 - 23


Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about Apparition of Mary at Lourdes, France (2)

In total, there were 18 apparitions at Lourdes in 1858. On February 21, as more than a hundred people gathered, Bernadette saw the Virgin Mary look over her head and tell her to pray for sinners. But on seeing Mary’s beautiful face, she felt assured. Three days later, Bernadette tearfully recounted Mary’s words, “Repent, repent, repent!” From now on, she was to make reparation for sinners by walking to the grotto on her knees and kissing the ground. On February 25, Mary said, “Go, draw water from the spring. Drink and wash.” After some digging, some water came forth from the left side of the grotto. Onlookers began to mock her, but to this day, the same spring delivers 32,000 gallons of water to the local river. This water had healing properties. On March 1, Catherine, a 9-months pregnant woman walked 9 kilometres to Lourdes. After immersing her lame arm, she was healed and on returning home, gave birth shortly afterward. The next day, Mary told Bernadette to tell the local priest to build a chapel at the grotto. The priest told Bernadette to ask for the name of the woman in the visions. On March 3, Mary merely responded by smiling. The priest told Bernadette, “If she wants the chapel built, she must reveal her name and make roses bloom at the grotto.” But the next day, Mary once more responded by smiling and nodding. Today, Lourdes is a major destination for pilgrims to pray the Rosary for the reparation of sinners and immerse themselves in the holy waters for healing.
Publish date: 2018 - 6 - 23


Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about Apparition of Mary at Lourdes, France

The Lourdes apparitions are the most famous of the 18th-century Marian apparitions. On February 11, 1858, Bernadette, her sister, and a friend were out collecting wood and, hearing the sound of wind, she saw a beautiful woman in a nearby grotto. She was clothed in white, with a veil on her head, a blue sash on her hips, yellow roses on her feet, and a gold-and-white Rosary in her hands. Bernadette attempted to make the sign of the cross, but was immobilized, and only when Mary made the Sign of the Cross could Bernadette do so. Bernadette began to pray the Rosary, Mary silently counted with her and disappeared. Bernadette realized that the other girls had not seen the vision and told them to keep it secret. But her sister told their mother, who was convinced she was dreaming. On February 14, Bernadette returned to the cave with locals, who cast holy water and prayed the Rosary, thinking the apparition demonic in origin. When Mary appeared, Bernadette said, “If you come from God, please approach us.” The holy water touched her foot, and Mary walked forward, prayed a Rosary, and disappeared. The day after Ash Wednesday, February 18, a woman and a nun accompanied Bernadette to the grotto. The three of them prayed the Rosary and lit a holy candle. When Mary appeared, Bernadette asked her to write her name. Mary said there was no need and told her to come every fourteen days: “I will not promise you happiness in this life, but happiness in the next.” On February 20, Mary taught Bernadette a private prayer, the content of which has never been revealed. The day after, Mary asked Bernadette to pray for sinners.
Publish date: 2018 - 6 - 16


Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about Marian apparition in Pontmain, France

On January 17, 1871, in Pontmain, France, two brothers had finished helping their father with farmwork. They saw the sky above one of their neighbours’ houses lacked stars. There, the boys saw a beautiful woman smiling at them, but the adults could not see the vision. Their mother thought it was a Marian apparition and told them to pray five Our Fathers and five Hail Marys in her honour. After dinner, they went back out and the vision was still there. They notified their teacher, a nun, who couldn’t see the vision, so she brought three children: the oldest two saw the vision, but the youngest did not. The adults could not see the vision but, under the guidance of their parish priest, began to pray the Rosary. The children saw a blue oval surrounding Mary – who had a red cross on her heart. The stars flew onto Mary’s clothing and made it shine, then at Mary’s feet, words appeared: “But pray, my children.” After the priest led the people to sing hymns to Mary, new words appeared: “God will soon answer you. My Divine Son has permitted Himself to be moved.” Then, a large image of the Passion of Christ appeared before Mary, and her smile turned to grief. The stars lit four candles, the Passion image disappeared, and the people began to pray Matins. That night, the Prussian invaders halted their advance into France and, 21 days later, a peace treaty was signed. In the village of Pontmain, all the soldiers returned home unscathed. The local bishop verified the miracle in 1872, and a big basilica was built there in 1900, and the Feast of Our Lady of Pontmain was established on January 17, to remind people to pray for peace, an important task in the 19th century and in our present age.
Publish date: 2018 - 6 - 9


Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about Marian apparition at La Salette, France

In 1846, Mary appeared at La Salette, France to a boy and a girl, who saw a weeping beautiful woman who said to them in French, “My children, come here, don’t be afraid.” She said that, unless people were obedient, her Son’s Divine Hand would have no alternative but to punish them. The locals would often curse with the Name of Jesus, even after God sent a potato crop failure to warn them. Now, a drought would come. Mary asked them, “Have you prayed well?” The children admitted they had not, so Mary told them to at least pray the Lord’s Prayer and a Hail Mary each day, but to pray more if time permitted. Mary complained that few people attended the Mass apart from old women, instead preferring to work in the summertime. And during Lent, they would continue to eat meat like ravenous dogs. She emphasized the importance of living out the first three Commandments – to worship God, to not take His Name in vain, and to keep the sabbath day – and also of making reparations for those who did not.
Publish date: 2018 - 6 - 2