During these 9 days of Novena, pilgrims from the whole country came as a day trip pilgrimage. Some stayed for days. Starting from 7 February, pilgrims became crowded. On 9 February, the last day of the feast, thousands of pilgrims filled the whole compound of the Marian center.
Holy Masses were offered one after another during the whole day in different languages. Pilgrims made confession, attended Mass, and received the Holy Communion. In front of the Marian Grotto, a big number of pilgrims prayed silently, saying rosary. In the evening of 9th February, the whole compound became over filled with pilgrims. There were also many pilgrims who stayed in their own cars parked outside the compound. Some hired rooms and houses. Practically the whole town of Nyaunglebin was filled with pilgrims.
In the evening, the Marian procession started at 5:30 and was concluded with the Benediction at 7:00 p.m. The whole procession took one and half-hours. Pilgrims joined the procession saying prayers, Rosary and singing songs of praise to God and Mary. Archbishop Charles Bo led the Marian procession carrying the Holy Eucharist. Priests, religious, lay faithful, numbering over 60,000 pilgrims joined the procession. The whole town payed respect to the pilgrims in the procession.
The highest point of the pilgrimage was the night Mass at 10:30 p.m. The Archbishop of Yangon and Bishop of Hpa-an led the Holy Mass concelebrated by 76 priests. The whole ground was filled with pilgrims. It was like a sea of pilgrims. The official people estimated that there were over 70,000 people.
The Prelate preached on the theme “Trust” drawing lesson from the trust of Blessed Virgin Mary. Mainly he emphasized the trust of God in man, and man in God; the trust of parents and children; the trust of teachers and pupils; the trust of government leaders and citizens.
He asked, “Why do we trust another person?” He gave the answer, “because of fidelity, keeping one’s promise and reliability.” He said, “God is our Father “Abba” whom we can always trust, because he is faithful and keeps his promises. Mary is our example for trust in God.” He expounded the life of Blessed Virgin Mary in brief emphasizing her trust in God amidst the mystery of suffering, to the point of her son’s death on the Cross.
The Prelate encouraged the pilgrims to have trust in God who is our Abba and who loves us, and to pray with trust, and not to be discouraged when things do not happen according to our will at our own time. He said, “Wait for God’s own time. He knows the best for us.” He also exhorted the pilgrims, to be generous with God who in turn will be generous with us, even abundantly. Especially he encouraged them to be generous and courageous in renouncing bad habits and sins.
While reflecting on the trust of the government and citizens, he recalled the history of Myanmar since 1962. He said, “The people of our country lived in darkness with fear for 50 years. We were kept silent and our eyes were closed.” He continued, “Now the situation is changing. We are at the dawn of the day, starting to see the light that gives us brighter hope.”
He also emphasized the current conflicts in the country between the government army and KIA. He said, “There was not a year without war and fighting in the country since the time of Independence in 1948. We need to learn that war will not solve the problem, but will increase hatred, killing one another and destruction.” He continued, “From our own history, we have learned enough that the dictatorship will not help the country and the people. We need to discuss, negotiate and find out ways and means for peaceful solution. What is the benefit of fighting between Army and KIA?” He answered, “Only dead bodies, refugees, lack of food and safety, lack of education and the increased suffering of children and women.” He pleaded all not to solve the problem with arms and fighting, but to sit down at one table, to talk, listen, give time and build trust.” “Those who have more power and authority have greater responsibility”, he said. “It has been over 60 years of fighting and killing. We better stop all fightings; we all are tired.”
Finally, the Prelate asked each pilgrim, to start changing oneself. “It is necessary to change oneself, if we want to change our society, our country and our world.”
The National Marian Shrine in Nyaunglebin town is recognized and approved by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Myanmar as the Marian Center for the whole country. There are also many Marian Shrines in other Dioceses of Myanmar. This Nyaunglebin Marian Shrine is the most well known and visited center not only during the time of the feast, but also throughout the whole year.
Fr. Noel Saw Naw Aye
လုဒ္စ္မယ္ေတာ္သခင္မအား ဂုဏ္ျပဳေသာအားျဖင့္ (၁၁၁)ႀကိမ္ေျမာက္ မယ္ေတာ္သခင္မပြဲကို ပဲခူးတိုင္း၊ ေညာင္ေလးပင္ၿမိဳ႕၌ ၂၀၁၃ ခုႏွစ္၊ ေဖေဖာ္၀ါရီလ (၁)ရက္ေန႔တြင္ မစၦားတရားေတာ္ျမတ္ႏွင့္ ႏိုဗီနား ဆုေတာင္းေမတၱာျဖင့္ ဖြင့္လွစ္ခဲ့သည္။
ႏိုဗီနားစတင္သည့္ေန႔မွစ၍ (၉)ရက္အတြင္း ယံုၾကည္သူ ဘာသာ၀င္/ဘာသာပမ်ား လာေရာက္၍ မယ္ေတာ္သခင္မအား ဖူးေျမာ္ၾကည္ညိဳခဲ့ၾကသည္။ ႏိုဗီနား ေနာက္ဆံုးရက္တြင္ ယံုၾကည္သူ ဘာသာ၀င္ေပါင္း ေထာင္ႏွင့္ခ်ီ၍ လာေရာက္ခဲ့ၿပီး ေက်ာင္း၀င္းတစ္ခုလံုး ျပည့္လွ်ံေနခဲ့သည္။
ႏိုဗီနာ ေနာက္ဆံုးရက္မ်ားတြင္ တိုင္းရင္းသားဘာသာစကားတစ္မ်ဳိးစီျဖင့္ မစၦားတရားေတာ္ျမတ္ကို က်င္းပရာ တိုင္းရင္းသားမ်ားမွ အဖြဲ႕လိုက္ ပါ၀င္ဆုေတာင္းခဲ့ၾကသည္။ ဘုရားဖူးသူေတာ္စင္မ်ားမွလည္း အာပတ္ေျဖျခင္း၊ မစၦားတရားေတာ္ျမတ္မ်ား နာယူျခင္း၊ ကိုယ္ေတာ္ျမတ္ပင့္ယူျခင္းတို႔ျဖင့္ မိမိတို႔၀ိညာဥ္အား ျပင္ဆင္ၾကသည္။ မယ္ေတာ္ဂူေ႐ွ႕တြင္လည္း ဘုရားဖူးသူေတာ္စင္အမ်ားအျပား စိတ္ပုတီးစိတ္ျခင္းျဖင့္ မယ္ေတာ္အား သဒၶါၾကည္ညိဳမႈျပဳခဲ့ၾကသည္။ ဘုရားေက်ာင္း၀င္း အတြင္းႏွင့္ အျပင္ တည္းခိုရာေနရာမ်ားတြင္လည္း ဘုရားဖူးသူမ်ားျဖင့္ ျပည့္ႏွက္ေနခဲ့သည္။
ပြဲေတာ္ေန႔ ေဖေဖာ္၀ါရီလ (၉)ရက္ေန႔တြင္ မယ္ေတာ္အား သဒၶါၾကည္ညိဳေသာ စီတန္းလွည့္လည္ျခင္းကို ညေန ၅း၃၀ နာရီတြင္ စတင္ခဲ့ၿပီး ည ၇း၀၀ အခ်ိန္တြင္ ကိုယ္ေတာ္ျမတ္အား သဒၶါၾကည္ညိဳျခင္းျဖင့္ အဆံုးသတ္ခဲ့သည္။ ပြဲေတာ္အပိတ္မစၦားတရားကို ည (၁၀း၃၀) တြင္ က်င္းပခဲ့ၿပီး ရန္ကုန္ကက္သလစ္ဂိုဏ္းခ်ဳပ္ဆရာေတာ္ႀကီး ခ်ားလ္ဘိုဦးေဆာင္၍ သာသနာနယ္အသီးသီးမွာ ဘုန္းေတာ္ႀကီး(၇၆)ပါးတို႔ႏွင့္အတူ မယ္ေတာ္အား သဒၶါဂုဏ္ျပဳေသာ မစၦားတရားေတာ္ျမတ္ကို တင္ပူေဇာ္ခဲ့သည္။