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The people of Haiti thank Our Lady of Help for 125 years and 65 years.

posted by WadnerPierre Port-au-Prince Topics: haiti

December 14, 2007

The people of Haiti thank Our Lady of Help for 125 years and 65 years.

Wadner Pierre 25ans 65 ans Merci a NDPertuel Secour dec 8th 2007 102.JPG

By:
Wadner Pierre

1882-2007 marks 125 years of the miraculous healing of the Haitian people from the scourge of Verette which ravaged the country at that time. According to what we have learned, the bishops of that time gathered in prayer with the faithful in Bel'Air in the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chapel, and asked for a blessing for the people who had perished from this epidemic. Grace was dropped from the sky and all the people who were infected with this disease were cured.

1942-2007 marks the 65th years of the official consecration of Haiti. Our Lady of Perpetual Help at that time existed under the term of President Elie Lescot, a mulatto. According to historical testimony, there had been a kind of hunt against Voodoo priests (who were called 'Defeated'), as if this faith prevented the country from continuing on the road of progress. So why do we celebrate this date, 65 years later?

At that time the sons and daughters of Haiti who practiced Voodoo had difficulty explaining their religion. Most of them were black, while the president of that time was a mulatto. Similarly, the current president of the Haitian Conference of Bishops, Mgr. Louis Kébreau, is also a mulatto. He has often harshly criticized the democratically elected governments but has never lifted a finger to condemn the abuses against the people of Haiti during the reign of defacto government (2004-2006).

To commemorate these important dates in the history of this people, the dates that mark the exclusion of the poorest in Haitian society, the Catholic Church in Haiti, as well as other religions, has often lead processions down several streets of the Haitian capital on December 8th. Many often wear shirts with the image of Our Lady Perpetual of Help during this process, as they did this past Saturday. This date marks an opportunity to celebrate the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary.

On Saturday, several thousands marched and prayed in Port-au-Prince, beginning from the chapel of Our Lady Perpetual of Help in Bel'Air. They were received by Haitian President Rene Garcia Preval at the National Palace, although it could be said that this reception was a purely symbolic gesture, as only the Bishops, priests, journalists, and members of organizations were allowed access to the courtyard of the National Palace. Thousands of others remained outside in prayer.

The closing mass of the day would be celebrated by more than ten Bishops of Haiti as well as a Representative of the Pope, and Mario Jordana, the representative of the Haitian Episcopal Bishop of Haiti's Central Province, Hinche. Louis Kebreau delivered a sermon that seemed to call on the people to demand that the present government take its responsibilities seriously, and that it condemn corruption and drug trafficking. One wonders if this message might have been a dangerous omen, a sign of a coming event in the country.

Here is an extract of speech of the President of Haitian Episcopal Conference, Bishop Louis Kébreau. The speech is both liturgical and political:

"Mary is pleased to see that you are the people who recognize, you walked in peace and dignity. Today people walked, those that want freedom. We see that there are really barriers [to this freedom], which is why we are asking the government to take seriously its responsibility to help the people who want to move forward, to help themselves out of the insecurity, unemployment, corruption. The people need to take the true path and not the path of drugs. Where [the lord's] children are crying and the mothers pay for the soul, these children have no models to follow. There is a social injustice that hangs over this nation, which is likely to lose its dignity, although the people are proud. Who is the cause [of this injustice]?"

One wonders whether the Church itself is not an accomplice to the corruption that the President of the Haitian Episcopal spoke of. The church's open relationship with members of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), which is surrounded by corruption, has even been publicly denounced by more than one of it's advisers.

Later Kebreau spoke of a cleansing issue for the Haitian people, the power of death. He spoke of the restoration of the country's independence and the love of the motherland. He also criticized those who plunder public funds for their own interests, but not in the interests of the people:

"The moment of truth has arrived, the hour of freedom is rung We must reconquer our independence. We have to live as brothers and sisters. It's time for us to stop taking dictations. The people Haitian are a people of freedom and pride, it is we who must provide the solution to our problems, my brothers and sisters…"

At the end of the apostolic wedding, a message from the Pope was read. A resolution adopted by the College of Bishops of Haiti was read by a Roman Catholic missionary, in an attempt to obtain the grace and favor of God for the people who had gathered.

Wadner Pierre
Nwanpi(at)gmail.com


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