Virgin Mary image ‘a call for peace’
Hospital plays it cool to handle the crowds
The apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Subang Jaya medical centre should be regarded as a call to peace, said Rev Father Lawrence Andrew, editor of the Catholic newspaper The Herald. “When there is an apparition, it is always a call to prayer and repentance, a call to look at our lives and make them better and more virtuous. It is a call to go away from sin, and to peace,” he said, according to Free Malaysia Today.
“People are going there to pray and it is the faith of the people being expressed. It is something they have not seen before. And you can see that it is not painted or pasted on. It is something that has come out on its own. It is a remarkable thing, an extraordinary phenomenon,” he said.
Fr Lawrence said that the Catholic Church in Malaysia would be issuing a press statement only after a serious investigation to ascertain whether the Marian apparition took place. “At the moment, we have to wait and see how this develops. I wouldn’t commit to anything on this, and I will not jump the gun. It is not subject to feelings, and there is a process of verification,” he said.
Hospital plays it cool
Sime Darby Medical Centre is treading carefully in handling the situation, because of Malaysia’s religious sensitivities. “Our official position is no comment, [because] when we deal with religion, it is very delicate,” a senior Sime Darby official told Free Malaysia Today.
The hospital’s administration was trying to manage the situation “as best as we can”. “We are operating a hospital and our main concern is our patients. We also expect people to behave like in any other hospitals,” he said.
Rela and traffic police have been called in to manage the crowd, which is expected to swell over the coming public holidays.
A citizen journalist said: “…they are truly managing the situation as best as they can, which includes erecting a tent for the people, distributing water, quietly managing the traffic, also providing a place for people to light candles … it is those people who have brushes with life and death on a daily basis who understand what faith does to people.”