After the proclamation of President Corazon Aquino, his Eminence, Jaime Cardinal Sin, told her: “Your victory, Cory, is a Marian victory. It is the victory of the Marian year.”
Let us trace the events leading to this Marian victory.
In 1981, Our Blessed Mother told Fr. Stefano Gobbi when he visited the Philippines that she would choose seeds from the Filipino people which she will plant in her Immaculate Heart to accomplish “a great plan of love and light for this blessed nation.” Fr. Gobbi then predicted that her triumph which she prophesied in Fatima will begin in the Philippines.
In 1982, former senator Ninoy Aquino, the leading opponent of President Ferdinand Marcos, spoke of his own conversion and saw himself as a seed. He quoted from the Scriptures: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains a seed; but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit.”
In 1983, with the Rosary in his hand, Ninoy returned home from the United States and became a willing martyr to fashion Our Lady’s own “plan of love and light” for the Filipino people. He abandoned himself to her care and she chose him as the seed to be planted on the fertile soil of her Immaculate Heart.
On December 8 of the same year, Jaime Cardinal Sin and the country’s bishops consecrated the entire Filipino nation to the Immaculate Heart.
In 1984, on the tenth anniversary of the Rosary Movement founded by Cardinal Sin, the International Pilgrim Image of Our Lady of Fatima, better known as the weeping Madonna, arrived on a Blue Army peace flight for a one-day visit. Two million pilgrims welcomed her, the first demonstration that people power is God power.
In July 1984, the Philippine bishops approved a proposal of Cardinal Sin to proclaim a Marian Year in celebration of the bimillennium of Our Lady on September 8, 1985. The Marian Year opened on December 8, 1984.
In 1985, five million Filipinos responded to the call of the bishops to a nationwide C-O-R campaign, for Conversion, Life Offering, and Reparation, praying the Rosary daily, and pleading for deliverance in our hour of trial.
On December 4, the newspapers announced Cory Aquino’s candidacy for the presidency. Ninoy’s widow took up his fight. That same day, the Weeping Madonna arrived for a five-city visit led by His Eminence to Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Iloilo and Manila.
On February 7, 1986, presidential elections were held. A week after, on February 14, the bishops strongly condemned the fraudulent conduct of the polls and supported Cory’s call for civil disobedience.
After another week, on February 22, a military rebellion broke out, as rebel soldiers took their positions in Camp Aguinaldo. Cardinal Sin called on the Filipino people to support the rebellion with a human barricade.
The people responded in faith and prayer. Our Lady’s image was prominent everywhere in the EDSA highway in front of Camp Aguinaldo, as it was at the Commission on Elections and in the national legislature. Kneeling as they prayed the rosary, the people blocked the tanks sent to crush the revolt.
Soldiers, generals, and entire camps defected to the side of the people. This was a peaceful revolution. It was unprecedented in history for the people to protect the soldiers.
On February 25, Maria Corazon Aquino was sworn in as the seventh President of the Republic of the Philippines. The day was the Feast of Our Lady of Victory. Marcos fled Malacanang Palace and spent the rest of his life in Hawaii.
So, from the Immaculate Heart of Mary we have received the gift of the victory of the Marian Year in the person of President Maria Corazon Aquino.
According to Pope Pius XII and St. Augustine, what we consider as human coincidences are often planned out in heaven to increase our faith as we witness the unfolding of events according to God’s loving designs for His people.
Howard Q. Dee Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See, 1986-1992