Dear Children, “We should extremely get closer to Blessed Virgin Mary. We should devotedly come to her with an enormous love. We should also enlighten our lives through the light of the Lamp of Privileges, which is still burning, even today, in Her Immaculate Heart. We milk the cow as the need arises. However, we cannot compare Blessed Virgin Mary in that manner. Certain people reach her in that manner. Such people also may be thinking about her in that manner. Yet, it will not take much longer for them to realize that they cannot compare her in that manner”.

The Most Holy Apostolic Father, His Holiness Rohan Lalith Aponso, reflected these words at the recitation of the Holy Rosary, which was held in the Apparition Church of Our Lady of Katunanyake’s Shrine, in the evening of Saturday, 15th January 2011.

Candles, numbering the Hail Mary prayers in the Holy Rosary, were lit in the Apparition Church, at the spot where Blessed Mother Mary has appeared. The children of Blessed Mother Mary recited the Holy Rosary, devotedly, in candle light.

His Holiness the Apostolic Father, along with devotees and pilgrims, offered the Holy Rosary to the Blessed Mother, from a special podium which was erected in the Apparition Church, in a place close to the spot where Blessed Virgin Mary has appeared.

When the Blessed Mother Mary appeared on several occasions, in this Apparition Church of Sri Lanka’s, Our Lady of Katunayake’s Shrine, she has stressed the need of reciting the Holy Rosary, to the Holy Apostolic Father. Accordingly, a number of times in a year, His Holiness the Apostolic Father gather people at a place which is very close to the spot, where Blessed Virgin Mary has appeared, and recites the Holy Rosary, in candle light, with the total participation of the people, to fulfill the request of the Blessed Mother, and to renew their devotion to the Holy Rosary.

In the evening of Saturday 15th January 2011, devotees and pilgrims, not only gathered in the Apparition Church of Our Lady of Katunayake’s Shrine, but also in the Shrine Ground. On that day, along with them, the Most Holy Apostolic Father, His Holiness Rohan Lalith Aponso, offered the Holy Rosary to the Blessed Mother.

Following is the full text of the Homily which was reflected by the Most Holy Apostolic Father, before he granted his Apostolic Blessing at the conclusion of the recitation of the Holy Rosary.

”My Dear Children, “It is clearly mentioned in the Holy Scriptures, about the manner the arch angel Gabriel informed about a birth of a child by the grace of God, between two families who are related”.

Blessed Mother Mary and Elizabeth were relatives. Elizabeth was getting on in years. This was very clear from the words of the husband of Elizabeth, which he pronounced to angel Gabriel. “How can I know this? I am an old man and my wife is getting on in years.”(Luke 1:18) Zechariah said this to the arch angel Gabriel. Nevertheless, Blessed Virgin Mary was a young girl. It was evident from the words she pronounced to angel Gabriel that she has no knowledge of man. “How can this come about, since I have no knowledge of man?” (Luke 1:34) She asked this question from angel Gabriel because she was not married at that time. Not only that, it is mentioned in the Gospel of St. Luke that at that moment she was a girl betrothed to a man named Joseph. In the sixth month angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.” (Luke 1:26-27) Now, it is obvious that Blessed Virgin Mary was unmarried, yet, was hoping to get married”.

Even though Elizabeth was married and was getting on in years, she was always in pain and sorrow because she was not having a child of her own. Even her husband Zechariah was also suffering immensely because his wife was not bearing a child. Zechariah always prayed to God about it. In the Holy Scriptures, St. Luke has clearly stated that angel Gabriel had told Zechariah that God has listened to his prayers. “Zechariah, do not be afraid, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth is to bear you a son” (Luke 1:13) Then, even though the wife of Zechariah was getting on in years, she was going to conceive, as a result of his prayer. Due to this reason the angel said “your prayer has been heard”.

But the unmarried Blessed Virgin Mary did not plead to God for a child. It was not necessary for her to do so. Yet, she was going to conceive and bear a child because she was chosen by God, to be the Mother of that child. She was totally qualified by the grace of God, to be the Mother of God. Here are the words of the angel Gabriel, which has been stated by St. Luke. “Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Look! You are to conceive in your womb and bear a son.” (Luke 1:30)

The words of the angel are very clear to us. It is not that easy to be the Mother of God. It is necessary to obtain that grace from God. And God had given that grace to Blessed Mother Mary.

When we think about all this, we could see that Blessed Mother Mary has been deeply wrapped with the grace of God. When we further look into this we could see that the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary itself was also a result of a certain plan, implemented by God. When the arch angel Gabriel came to Blessed Virgin Mary to deliver the message of God, at the beginning, he bowed his head and said, “Rejoice, you who enjoy God’s favour!” (Luke 1:28) Then, this Noble Blessed Virgin Mary, who enjoys God’s favours, was born to this world, having received God’s graces.

Dear Children, “We should extremely get closer to Blessed Virgin Mary. We should devotedly come to her with an enormous love. We should also enlighten our lives through the light of the Lamp of Privileges, which is still burning, even today, in Her Immaculate Heart. We milk the cow as the need arises. However, we cannot compare Blessed Virgin Mary in that manner. Certain people reach her in that manner. Such people also may be thinking about her in that manner. Yet, it will not take much longer for them to realize that they cannot compare her in that manner”.

Dear Children, “At this moment, I am addressing you from a place which is very close to the spot where Blessed Virgin Mary has appeared. Just like she was chosen by God, Blessed Mother also fills the place where she has chosen to visit, with abundant graces. People have the freedom to receive those graces without any differences. Yet, you should have a discipline to use that freedom in a constructive way. What will happen if you throw stones or dirt into a spring? Then, it will be of no use to anybody. You should also have a discipline even to drink water from that spring. If there is no discipline, even a country, a city, a school, or a home may collapse.

Therefore, “We should come to Blessed Mother Mary, devotedly, with an enormous love, and with a great amount of discipline. This Shrine is just like the residence of Blessed Virgin Mary, She is the Mother who is waiting here till the children arrive. She is also the Mother who inquires into their needs and helps them. I feel that you have to have a great privilege to come to this Sacred Ground, where Blessed Mother Mary still comes and goes. I also feel that you should also have a privilege to recite a Hail Mary in this Sacred Ground. Dear Children, I am happy to say that you have achieved that privilege”.

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His Holiness the Apostle Rohan Lalith Aponso, is an Apostle, who was Chosen and Appointed by Lord Jesus Christ by Appearing in this world. He was also fortunate to see Blessed Mother Mary to his own eyes for 23 occasions.

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