The Catholic Southern Front

Intercession of Virgin Mary prevented war in South America, newspaper reveals

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=12132

Bogota, Mar 24, 2008 / 11:19 am (CNA).- The Colombian daily “El Tiempo” revealed on Holy Saturday that a crisis that could have ended in an open conflict between Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela was averted by Colombian President Alvaro Uribe confiding the situation to the intercession of Mary under the three different titles by which she is the country’s patroness.

The crisis between Colombia and its southern (Ecuador) and northeastern (Venezuela) neighbors started On March 1, when Uribe ordered a military raid into Ecuador’s territory against a rebel camp used by Marxist guerrillas to launch terrorist strikes. The raid targeted and killed the No. 2 FARC rebel leader, Raul Reyes.

In response, Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa cut all diplomatic relationships with Colombia. Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Correa’s political ally, ordered a massive military surge to the Colombian border as well.

Quoting Fr. Julio Solórzano, Chaplain of Colombia’s Presidential Palace, El Tiempo revealed that on March 5, when the rhetoric and blames between the presidents was increasing tensions, President Uribe called for a Rosary to pray for the end of tensions.

The Rosary, prayed at the Presidential Palace’s chapel, was dedicated, upon Uribe’s request, to the Marian to Our Lady of Chiquinquira, Our Lady of Coromoto and Our Lady of Mercy, respectively the patronesses of Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador.

Uribe invited all officials at the Presidential palace to the Rosary, as well as the minister of Defense and the Interior.

“For believers –El Tiempo wrote- the prayer was more than effective, since only two days after the presidents of the three countries shook hands during the Group of Rio summit, and for many the crisis was over.”

In fact, on April 7, at the Dominican Republic summit, the three presidents vented their differences, but agreed to stand down after Colombia apologized for the raid.

“The President is a man of faith, he always carries with him a wooden Cross and a Rosary. I have heard him pray several times in the motorcade or on the presidential airplane.” “He always tries to be coherent with his faith in his work, pleasing God with what he does,” Fr. Solórzano was quoted by the “El Tiempo.”

 

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgkMSsCyhfc

 

 

http://www.foxnews.com/photoessay/0,4644,4449,00.html

 

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=13175

Rosary plays important role in hostage rescue in Colombia

Bogotá, Jul 9, 2008 / 01:00 pm (CNA).- The recitation of the Rosary has become, for an increasing number of Colombians, the secret behind the new phase the country is entering.  Many Colombians also view the Rosary as the “secret weapon” that made the recent rescuing of 15 hostages possible – without a single shot fired.

According to Lidia Rios, spokeswoman for the Legion of Mary in Medellin, thousands of Colombians have been praying the Rosary for years for the release of the numerous hostages being held by rebel groups.

“We have prayed a lot to the Lord and to the Blessed Mother that this rescue would be successful, and we are not going to stop now. We are and will continue praying for this intention,” Rios told CNA in reaction to statements by President Uribe, who said shortly after the rescue that the operation “was guided in every way by the light of the Holy Spirit, the protection of our Lord and the Virgin Mary.”

Rios believes President Uribe’s success in combating violence in Colombia is due to “the devotion and commitment he has to Jesus and Mary.” She added that she believes Uribe has escaped attacks from his enemies thanks “to the Lord and the Virgin Mary, who have saved him and continue to watch over him, because he always prays to them and he is working hand in hand with the Church.”

“Thanks be to God we are beginning to see some hope in Colombia, and that is what all of the hostages who have been freed think,” Rios said.

Former presidential candidate, Ingrid Betancourt, who was among those rescued and in the past had said she was a non-practicing Catholic, told reporters her rescue was a miracle of the Virgin Mary. “I am convinced this is a miracle of the Virgin Mary,” she said.  “To me it is clear she has had a hand in all of this,” Betancourt said after six years in captivity.

Clara Rojas, who was her close political advisor and was kidnapped along with Betancourt, was freed several months ago and told reporters that during their captivity, “We prayed to her a lot.  We prayed the Rosary, and we said that when we were free, we would thank her.”

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