Our Lady of EDSA: The Reason Behind the Shrine

Multiple Authors

During the start of the EDSA (Epifanio de los Santos Avenue) revolution, February 22, 1986, the forces under Fidel Ramos and Juan Ponce Enrile gravitated in Camp Rafael Crame with the Commander in Chief’s forces ready to pounce on them. During that time Enrile, the Secretary of national defense was divulging that the alleged ambush attempt on his life was just staged in order to justify the imposition of martial law just as in the case of the so-called “Light a Fire” Movement. On the night of the break-up as Ramos and Enrile did not want being arrested, Jaime Cardinal Sin asked the people to bring food to the soldiers in Crame and if possibly protect Ramos’ group. On the next day multitudes of people came to answer the archbishop of Manila’s call.

The turn out of people is also a reaction to the rigged elections which didn’t reflect the will of the people in the ballots, as exposed by the computer tabulators who walked out after seeing that the results of the snap elections were rigged during the COMELEC count. The EDSA at once was filled with people. On the next day the broadcast channels were being taken over by government forces so that they can not be used by those who opposed the administration. Since Radio Veritas, the Church radio system was being seized, and because the attack of government forces was immanent, Fr. Larry Faraon gave a general absolution especially to the soldiers on the “side of the Truth”. Then its broadcast came to an end abruptly.

But the surprise came when Radio Bandido took over through June Keithly. The government technicians were agog where the broadcast was being sent from. They didn’t realize that the sequestered DZRJ of the Jacintos had been secretly activated in Sta. Mesa. Thus, the rebels continued to have their own channels of communication frustrating government efforts. The EDSA crowd continued to grow in numbers such the armored vehicles and tanks followed by government troops couldn’t pass through to implement an attack. The religious was at the vanguard of the crowd who at that time were praying periodic rosaries, giving food and flowers to the soldiers and carrying statues especially of the Blessed Virgin Mary to calm and appease them so they will no longer attack. It was seen that the soldiers were in a great dilemma. They have orders but they couldn’t just overrun these good people who meant well. An omen also appeared in the sky, it was a cross in cloud formation making the soldiers more nervous. A renegade group of aviators (led by Sotelo and Hotchkiss) which landed in Crame at 6:00 uplifted the morale of the Crame group. Charles Hotchkiss who retired a MGen., strafed Malacanang to persuade the dictator that it was all over. Then as a follow up order was given and the soldiers readied themselves to mobilize, “a beautiful nun” appeared before the tanks and the people, in her shining blue clothes. She gestured her hands outward and addressed the soldiers, “Dear Soldiers stop. Do not proceed. Do not harm my children. I am the Queen of this Land.” Then, the inevitable happened, the soldiers got off and out of their tanks and joined the throngs of people in celebration.

When these soldiers met the archbishop, they were in tears and awestruck telling him about the apparition of Our Lady in EDSA. When interviewed the cardinal used his sense of humor again, because when he was told about the great beauty of the “nun in EDSA”, he said he couldn’t recall any nun in his archdiocese as beautiful, so he concluded she must be the Blessed Virgin Mother. Would there be any nun who could claim that she is the Queen of the Land? That would be heretical and nonsensical. Unknown to a lot of Filipinos, Our Lady of Guadalupe, is the real patroness of the Philippines. The oldest seminary in the Philippines, San Carlos Seminary is even situated in Guadalupe Viejo in Makati along EDSA formerly Highway 54 and renamed for the renowned Filipino scholar.

On the way to U.S., the same cardinal said he met Sister Lucia dos Santos and although she is not exposed to any media, he said she knows everything about EDSA and said things in detail. She even mentioned that Cory Aquino will bring peace and stability to the country for at least two years.

On February 25, 1986, the shrine of our lady of EDSA was conceived in memory of the apparition and the Virgin’s role in preventing bloodshed. So, those who are grieving about how some selfish people bungled up the Lipa apparitions do not have to grieve so much, we have one in our midst to celebrate, especially the Filipinos.

Icarus Leido
Daniel Santos

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