03/03/2005, 00.00
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Sister Lucia of Fatima, protectress against communism

Manila (AsiaNews/UCAN) – Sister Lucia, the last visionary of Fatima who passed away on February 13, could intercede for a resolution of the 36-year-old communist insurgency in the Philippines, this according to Jesuit Father Catalino Arevalo, who spoke at a mass in memory of the Portuguese nun held on February 19 at the Carmelite Chapel in Quezon City, north of Manila.

"The first mission of Sister Lucia was to contain communism," Father Arevalo said. "So we can continue to ask for [her] intercession for the resolution of the communist problem that is present in the Philippines, which in some ways is getting worse".

To bolster this point, Father Arevalo cited alleged involvement of leftist groups in the labour dispute at Hacienda Luisita sugar plantation, owned by the Cojuangco family, to which former President Corazon Aquino belongs. Seven people died in picket-line violence there in November 2004.

Ms Aquino, who visited the visionary in Portugal in 1992, attended the February 19 mass. "Sister Lucia made a rosary and she gave it to me through Cardinal Sin, then Archbishop of Manila,"' she said. "In 1992, after I retired, I visited [her]." Now, "I use the rosary everyday," she added.

Ms Aquino accession to the presidency followed the 'people power' uprising inspired by Cardinal Sin's radio appeal urging Filipinos to join rosary vigils on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue against then dictator Marcos in what also came to be known as the 'rosary revolution'.

Currently, talks between the government in Manila and Communist rebels belonging to the New People's Army stalled after the inclusion of Jose Maria Sison, the party's founding leader, on the US list of international terrorists. (LF)

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