Saturday, August 1, 2009

President Corazon Aquino

The world is poorer today because we have lost a truly great woman. Yesterday former Philippine president Corazon Aquino passed away at age 76, after a battle with colon cancer. Corazon means heart. This woman's heart was big enough to embrace her entire country. After the public assassination of her husband, an opponent of Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, she picked up the standard of freedom and democracy and carried it bravely. Appropriately, the Philippines are entering a 10-day period of mourning for this self-described housewife, first woman president of this Pacific nation, who led a truly human revolution in her beloved homeland, a revolution that was not bloody, but overthrew a ruthless dictator nonetheless.


Image by Anita Kunz for TimeAsia magazine in 2006 for an article- 60 Years of Asian Heroes


Mrs. Aquino was truly devout and trusted in Christ and His Blessed Mother always. So, please pray a rosary for her. The BBC has a nice article with video that is worth reading and watching: Philippines Mourns Corazon Aquino. Last night on All Things Considered Madeleine Brand spoke with Philippine expert David Steinberg, who is now president of Long Island University, and a friend of Mrs. Aquino. I found it beautiful that his love and admiration for her did not permit him to maintain his academic detachment.

In typical fashion, her son, Benigo Aquino, Jr., in publicly announcing her death said: "She would have wanted us to thank each and every one of you for all the prayers and the continuous love and support.

"It was her wish for all of us to pray for one another and for the country."


The week before she passed into eternity, as her condition took a turn for the worse, the apostolic nuncio to the Philippines, Archbishop Edward Adams, delivered a letter conveying a message from the Holy Father through Cardinal Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State. Pope Benedict wished to affirm to her that he was "spiritually close" to her as she suffered. In the letter Cardinal Bertone wrote : "The Holy Father has asked that you be informed that he is remembering you in his prayers.

"At the same time he invoked upon you the blessing of Almighty God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in pledge of healing and comfort."
She is now fully healed and comforted and no doubt interceding for her beloved Filipino people.

As the old saw goes, some are born to greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them, while Mrs. Aquino was a daughter of a privileged family, with the dramatic assassination of her husband as he left the airplane bringing him home to the Philippines after exile, she had greatness thrust upon her. She handled it with grace. Given that she was democratically elected after the long dictatorship of Marcos, she declined to serve more than one term. As far as I am concerned she showed us how following Christ fulfills our humanity- she was truly a holy example of what it means to be a Christian woman.

3 comments:

  1. Thank you for writing this up. I knew parts of the story and that she was a great woman, so I'm glad to read the rest and to share it.

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  2. She was a remarkable and ordinary person whose story needs to be told.

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  3. Dcn Dodge, thank you for mentioning her in your blog. Being a quarter Philippine, I feel a special connection to the people of that country.

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