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Mary Magdalene: Sister And Our Apostle

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We have just celebrated the feast of Saint Mary Magdalene which since 2016 enjoys the rank of “Festum” in accordance to the will of the Roman Pontiff, Pope Francis underscoring the important role of women within the church and the primacy of the grace of mercy and conversion.
We also know that the Magdalene is one of the patrons or advocates of the Dominican Order for the chosen to be the “apostle of the apostles”. She is also the secondary patroness of our Dominican Province of Our Lady of the Rosary. She was chosen not only for the great devotion our founders had for her but was also due to a historical event so intimately linked with our long and colourful history as a missionary Province.
It should be remembered that it was on the eve of the feast of the Magdalene in the year of our Lord 1587 that the founding fathers of the Province in the Far East arrived on the shores of the Philippine Islands, specifically in the port of Cavite, on the other point of Manila Bay. It was a happy end for long and arduous journey of these zealous sons of Dominic who from their own convents in the old country, generously enlisted themselves and to brave towards the unknown, farther from the known world: the East, in order to evangelizer and to bring the word of God to those who have not heard it. They not only underwent a dangerous passage, crossing the seas and travelling on foot in New Spain (Mexico) reaching the western gateway of Acapulco where they had to set sail anew in the Pacific for the Philippines… but also the tedious representations of the founders for needed patents, permissions both from the regal and ecclesiastical powers; contretemps, the opposition of well-meaning persons, of choosing the best men for the great work of God…
That is why the great esteem the founders had to the Magdalene, and thus she was chosen as the secondary patroness of the new Province in the Far East. 
Thus when the latest General Chapters of the Order began to ask the different Provinces to chose a date to celebrate the mission or charism of the Province, our Province did not doubt to chose the feast of the great apostle of the Resurrection to celebrate the missionary heritage of our Province and to remind us of our beginnings.
Though our province only has the Virgin Mary as our mother and inspirator, the Mother of Preachers; it is without a doubt that the Magdalene is our “big sister”, our apostle, reminding us that with joy and jubilation we may share the good news of Christ’s victory; and with our own life, our fraternity, we may reveal the marvellous liberating power of mercy and compassion.
Happy Feastday to all, my brothers!
Fr. Jarvis Sy, OP.