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PIA Press Release

PGMA attends healing mass for FG's speedy recovery

Manila (14 April) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo attended today the healing mass offered by the Saint Jude Parish Church for the "speedy recovery" of First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo who went under the knife early this week to repair his about-to-rupture aorta.

The high-noon mass, according to Parish priest Fr. Joseph Xin Lu was dedicated to Atty. Arroyo for being one of the parish benefactors.

"The First gentleman has been such a generous person, so charitable," he said.

In his homily, Fr. Joseph stressed that "God is always there to raise us up… and Jesus really cares for each one of us…"

Several organizations, according to him, have received donations from the First Gentleman, "and I was told that it is coming form his own money."

Among the beneficiaries of Atty. Arroyo, he said, were farmers and the parish itself, which is "so grateful."

"And I would like to thank you, Madame President, for your continued support of the parish," he added.

Fr. Xin Lu then prayed for the First Gentleman’s "speedy recovery," saying that "God wants to use him (the FG) for good… (as) he is precious in God’s eyes."

The President -- cool in light blue pants and white long-sleeved shirt with light blue vertical stripes – entered the church via the main aisle to her front seat where she was joined some half an hour later by Vice President Noli de Castro who was similarly garbed in light blue long-sleeved shirt.

The mass was also attended by Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo, AFP Chief of Staff General Hermogenes Esperon, and palace dignitaries led by Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye who offered the "mompo," and Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita who brought the chalice to the altar during the "offering."

The 40-minute mass on "Friday of the Octave of Easter," dwelt on the Nazarean who was "rejected by the builders but who later became the cornerstone" of Christianity.

Of the seven Prayers of the Faithful, three were specifically for the First Gentleman. The last two prayers were for the President.

After the mass, Fr. Joseph went around the church with a "healing brother" and distributed white rose petals to the mass attendees, with the first set of petals going to the President who later found images of the Blessed Virgin Mary in three of her about a dozen rose petals.

This after-mass ritual dubbed the "Healing of Mind and Body" made the President "happy" as she is a devotee of the Blessed Virgin Mary, according to Cerge Remonde, director-general of the Presidential Management Staff (PMS).

Remonde told reporters after the President had left that "she felt very blessed" and that she believes "her prayers have been answered" with the appearance of the images of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the Virgin of Lourdes, and the Madonna with Child in three of the petals given her.

Remonde revealed that the white petals were earlier bought by the President’s younger son, Dato, and given to the parish for the healing session which later turned out to be "very special to her because of the appearance of the three images." (PIA) [top]

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