Tag: lent

Muslim Woman Attends Church Service… Donates Dozens Of Beverages To Christian Widows In Solidarity With Lent

Muslim Woman Attends Church Service… Donates Dozens Of Beverages To Christian Widows In Solidarity With Lent

A Muslim woman, attended a church service in southern Kaduna, Northern Nigeria last Sunday with the aim of sharing some cartons of Tea-break Items to the church widows and orphans, in other to encourage them, while calling on them to pray for peace and stability of the country. This is In solidarity with the 40 days fasting and prayers which is embacked by Christians world –wide.

Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani who is a peace builder and interfaith promoter in Nigeria west Africa, says she came to the church with some package of Tea break Items which include Cartons of Three crown and liptons Yellow Lebel Tea, to share for the widows and orphans, to strengthening them and support them in the daily fasting and prayers.

She pointed out that, last year during the 6 weeks Lenten period, she bailed out 10 Christian youths in kaduna convict prison, so as to enable them go back home and do their fasting at home with friends, family, and other relatives, with joy and happiness like every other Christian around the world, and according to her this is a method of promoting peace building, inter-religious Tolerance and better understanding among different faith based organization in Nigeria.

Ramatu added that supporting the widows and orphans with beverages and other Gifts will give them more strength in devoting their total time in praying to Almighty God for the peace and unity of the country, because the purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer for Easter through prayer, doing penance, mortifying the flesh, repentance of sins, almsgiving, and self-denial.

Gift-giving is one of the good manners that maintains and strengthens relations between the giver and the recipient, and The importance of fasting cannot be over emphasized. 

She said that, Muslims around the world cannot forget how Pastor Yohanna Buru do always help Muslim Destitutes & the prison inmates with Food to eat during the 30 Days of the holy month of Ramadan, Bailing large number of Muslim youth prisoners out for the sake of Ramadan.

Ramatu said: “we are worshipping One God Allah, and both muslims and Christians are from one Family (brothers and sisters), and both have their holy Books which are Bibles and Qur’an, both believes in paradise and hell, therefore, we are all one family under One God. Christians are my brothers and sisters and as a Muslim, I love visiting them, because both religions preach peace, tolerance and Harmony. Attending the church service doesn’t make me become a Christian. As a Muslim I have several Bibles at home and I read them to enable me know how to relate with my brothers and sisters that are Christians.”

She says, the impact of the previous ethno-religious and political crises in the state that claimed hundreds of lives and properties was a serious setback to peaceful co-existence in Kaduna and northern Nigeria at large, hence the need for clerics from both religions to preach sermons that foster unity and peaceful co-existence.

She further indicated that, she is also going to distribute the same gift to some Christian inmates in kaduna, and some parts of Northern Nigeria, so as to enable them devote their total time, in praying for peace and stability of the country.

She then called for the creation of institutes of comparative studies in the country, saying the institutes would promote better understanding, religious tolerance, forgiveness, reduce blasphemy tendencies and continuously preach peace and harmony between Muslims and Christians.

Additionally, She noted that there were more than 6,000 religions in the world, most of which were different from the literate Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) that many people think of when they hear the word “religion.” “In order to make statements or generalisations about religion, the concept of religion, rather than a specific religion or group of religions, we need to engage in comparative study of religions so as to reduce ethno-religious attacks and blasphemy,” she added.

We need to change from Theoretical approach of peace to practical peace, we need more conference on interfaith in Nigeria and Africa”.

She concluded by saying,

‘Some Nigerian Muslims have stood in solidarity with Christians on social media Platforms by Twitting and posting on Facebook, Instagram, YOUTUBE, LinkedIn, Google+, Vimeo, Live-Streaming, Microblogging, Periscope, Blogging on what they will give-up until the completion of the 40 days fasting, as a sign of total solidarity with Christians round the world which is aimed at boosting mutual respect, love, forgiveness, and encouraging peaceful co-existence in all African countries”.

According to the Muslims on social media #NigerianMuslims4Lent. This is just to let Christians know that Muslims are their best friends and brothers.

Receiving the Gifts, the General Overseer of Christ Evangelical Intercessory Fellowship Ministry, Pastor Yohanna Buru, thanked Hajiya Tijjani for the gesture and urged other Nigerians to learn how to tolerate, accommodate and live in peace with one another irrespective of religious background.

Pastor Buru also called on all citizens to shun all issues that lead to ethno-religious and political crisis.

According to him, the church cannot forget the donation of 50 copies of Bible it received from a group of Muslim women in February 2016 during the international Inter-faith week; saying, this is geared towards promoting religious tolerance.

Buru said: ‘the same woman donated dozens of chairs to the church and other utensils which are used for cleaning the environment of the church, with the aims of promoting peace and Tolerance among Muslims and Christians. The Muslims are our brothers and neighbors not enemies; we must join hands together to live in peace, and harmony because we all have Holy books (Qur’an and Bible) that teach us love and peace.”

He stressed that it is time all preachers redoubled their efforts in teaching their followers the right ways and obey the teaching of the holy books so as to end the activities of extremists and terrorists hiding under religion.

Adding also that every year, hundreds of Muslims join Christians in breaking the fast of lent in his house with other Christians and other traditional believers, according to him, the aim is just to promote religious tolerance and better understanding.

Also responding, Reverend Titus Asiyaku said: ‘It was surprising seeing a Muslim woman “performing miracle” through peace mission,’ while encouraging on every Nigerian to also find means of forgiving one another, in order to live in peace and harmony.

Exclusive! Nigerian Religious Stigmata Undergo Horrifying Pains Of The Passion Of Christ As Large Consecrated Host Comes Out Of Her Mouth (Pictures)

Exclusive! Nigerian Religious Stigmata Undergo Horrifying Pains Of The Passion Of Christ As Large Consecrated Host Comes Out Of Her Mouth (Pictures)

Large Host comes out of the mouth of Sr. Martina Of The Divine Wounds

The remote Village of Enugu – Ezike in Enugu State Nigeria witnessed the horrifying pains of the Passion of Christ through Sr. Martina, a Stigmata and Religious Founder of the Congregation of Divine Wounds.
The Nun is one of the few souls privileged to share in the passion of Christ every Lenten season especially Thursdays between 11pm (Gethsemane hour) – Friday 3am. 

On Thursday 8th March around 12am, Sr. Martina began to experience the Agony Christ went through at the Garden of Olives. She started bleeding through her head and eyes, amidst unbearable pains. 

Catholicsonline in a telephone conversation with Evang. Elisha Ayogu the man in charge of her prayer ministry, confirmed the story:

‘What Sr. Martina passed through between Thurday 8 to Friday 9 is real! She has been experiencing the passion of Christ for many years especially during the Lenten Season, particularly every Thursday 12midnight to Friday 3am’.  

He further stated that: 

‘She begins to bleed through her head and Eyes on Thursday night through Friday. Around 3am Friday, Consecrated Host comes out through her mouth. Formerly, she use to bleed on her hands and feet, after pleading with the Lord for many years to take away the pains and stigmata, part of her request was granted last year, and for the first time the bleeding in her hands and feet stopped, but Jesus told her that he will not take away the bleeding on her head and eyes until she dies’. 

St. Martina bleeding through her eyes

When I asked him how many times the Nun experiences these pains, He said: 

‘She usually pass through the pains of the passion 3 periods in a year, the first is every Thursday and Friday of Lent, the second is on All Saints Day and the third is on All Souls Day’.

St. Martina going through the horrifying pains of the Scourging at the Pillar

He further stated that Sr. Martina, returned from Rome February 2018, where she went to pursue the approval of her Congregation The Divine Wounds. 

Do You Know Why Lent Lasts 40 Days

Do You Know Why Lent Lasts 40 Days

Numbers can often have meaning in the Bible so what does the number forty mean and what is normally associated with it?

Forty: the Number of Testing

The number forty usually has to do with testing in the Bible. There are dozens of examples to show this and we will examine a few to see why this is so. From Jesus to the children of Israel in the Wilderness, the number forty shows that testing and trials are sometimes associated with this number and so we read in the Scriptures that the number forty generally symbolized a period of testing, trial or probation. As has been said, a faith that is not tested cannot be trusted.

Jesus Temptation

Matthew 4:1-3a “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him.”

Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights and it wasn’t until after He fasted that He faced the greatest temptation that anyone has ever experienced…and He passed this severe test. Can you imagine fasting for forty days and nights? What must that have felt like? How famished and exhausted He must have been!  

Fasting is a powerful tool to use when overcoming a major sin like an addiction (Isaiah 58) and by Jesus’ fasting for so many days He was able to resist the Devil and his three temptations in putting Jesus, Who is God, to the test. Being hungry, how hard it must have been for Jesus to not turn stones into bread, yet Jesus defeated the Devil at his own game.

Each year the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church celebrates 40 days of prayer and fasting before the great celebration of Easter. This number is very symbolic and has deep ties to multiple biblical events.

Purification and renewal

The first mention of 40 occurs in the book of Genesis. God proclaims to Noah, “For in seven days I will send rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground” (Genesis 7:4). This event connects the number 40 to purification and renewal, a time when the earth was washed clean and made anew.

Recognizing our sinfulness

In Numbers we see the number 40 again, this time as a type of penance and punishment imposed on the people of Israel for disobeying God. They had to wander in the desert for 40 years so that a new generation could inherit the Promised Land, instead of the people who did not trust in God’s plan for them.

Repentance and conversion of heart

In the book of Jonah, the prophet proclaims to Nineveh, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown! And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them” (Jonah 3:4). This again ties the number to spiritual renewal and conversion of heart.

A time of prayer and preparation

The prophet Elijah, before he encountered God on Mount Horeb, traveled for forty days, “And he arose, and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God” (1 Kings 19:8). This connects 40 to a time of spiritual preparation, a time when the soul is led to a place where it can hear the voice of God.

Engaging in a spiritual battle

Before embarking on his own public ministry, Jesus “was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And he fasted forty days and forty nights(Matthew 4:1-2). In continuity with the past, Jesus sets out to pray and fast for 40 days, combating temptation and preparing himself for proclaiming the Gospel to others.

In the end, all of these episodes in the Gospel reveal different reasons the number 40 was selected for the season of Lent. Together they provide for us a spiritual guide for Lent, inviting us to open our hearts to God.

Lent And Valentine – Matters Of The Heart

Lent And Valentine – Matters Of The Heart

It is not a coincidence that Valentine Day and Ash Wednesday are coming on the same day. It is rather providential because it reminds us about the deep connection between love and the heart. The love celebrated on Valentine’s Day is a matter of the heart. The celebration of Valentine is often adorned with heart shaped symbols, cards and crafts. Interestingly, the symbol of Valentine is not just a heart, but a heart pierced by the cupid, the ancient god of love. This wounded heart depicts a broken heart.
Likewise, the Scriptural readings of Ash Wednesday remind us that true religion is also a matter of the heart. The prophet Joel called on the people to return to God with their whole heart (Joel 2:12); The Apostle Paul appealed to the hearts of the Corinthians to be reconciled with God (2 Corinthians 5:20). Jesus emphasised the role of the heart in a relationship with God. He teaches the importance of performing good works and religious obligations without showmanship. He says we should give alms, pray and fast in the secrecy of our hearts so that God who sees our hearts will reward us accordingly (Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18).
True religion requires an honest heart and a change of heart. This was the central message of the prophets for many centuries. At different points, people misunderstood religion as a demonstration of symbols and rituals and they gradually forgot the significance of those symbols and rituals. It became common for religious people to play to the gallery by displaying popular acts of piety that will make them appear deeply religious. The danger of acting to the gallery is the tendency to disconnect religion from a sincere heart and becomes an outward appearance that leaves the heart out.
One of the ways in which people of the Old Testament expressed grief, despair, sorrow as well as remorse and contrition was by tearing their garments. This symbolic act is a sign of penitence and repentance. Jacob expressed sorrow and despair by tearing his clothes and putting on sackcloth to mourn for his beloved son Joseph (Genesis 37:34). When Ahab repented from going after idols, he expressed his remorse as he tore his garments and put on sackcloth over his bare flesh (1 Kings 21:7).
The symbolic action of tearing garments as a sign of repentance soon began to be abused by the people. The people began to dramatise this act without an iota of inward repentance. This was the reason why Joel challenged them by saying, “Tear your hearts and not your garments” (Joel 2:13). The prophet realised that it was easier for people to tear their garments than their hearts. Long time ago, David mentioned that the Lord is near to the broken hearted (Psalm 34:18 and that a sacrifice which is acceptable to God was a broken spirit and a contrite heart (Psalm 51:7). 
Tearing of garment without repentance is similar to making a confession to God without an act of contrition that comes from the depth of the heart. Why will Prophet Joel ask the people of Israel to tear their hearts? The many love stories of heart breaks and tears are usually caused by someone else or any unpleasant situation and are hardly self-inflicted. True love comes with tears and wounds. Any one who ventures into an honest and wholehearted love must be willing to tear his heart and to experience discomfort and pains. I wonder why some people say love is wicked. Maybe because love makes a wise person appear as a foolish person, and makes a person with good sight appear as a blind person; maybe because love makes a miser unusually generous; maybe because it makes people restless and can cause anguish and pain. 
Surely, love is a matter of the heart – it gives the heart joy and causes pain to the heart. On Valentine Day we celebrate the power of selfless love. Here is a picture of what a Valentine heart looks like, It is:

“Patient and kind…it bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all thing” (1 Corinthians 13: 4,7).

On Ash Wednesday we express our love for God through the spiritual exercises of prayers, almsgiving, and fasting. It is a time when we make sacrifices of subduing the pleasures of the flesh in order to purify the soul. Yes, Lent is a matter of the heart as it affords us the opportunity to renew our hearts. In his Lenten message for 2018 Pope Francis instructs us to guard our hearts against getting cold in the love of God and neighbour. Let us pray that during this holy season, God will enkindle in our heart the fire of his love.
I wish you a very fruitful Lenten season.


Joel 2:12-18; 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18.

Fr. Gerald M. Musa.

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