The Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Benin City and immediate past President of the Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), His Grace, Archbishop Augustine Akubeze, yesterday, commissioned the Marian Grotto built and donated to St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, Aruogba, Benin, by Senator Roland Owie.
Inaugurating the grotto, Akubeze said it avails the parishioners a place to pray and intercede for themselves and for the nation.
“We thank God for touching their hearts to donate towards this beautiful grotto and we pray that God will replenish their purses and bless them with His peace and to the parishioners, they now have where to go to, to intercede for their difficulties and challenges.
“It is always a good thing to be in a parish. So, they can come and intercede with the assurance that our Lady will intercede for them for God to grant them their hearts desires.
“So, I am happy that this is here. So, they have where to come to to pray”, Archbishop Akubeze added.
On his part, Senator Roland Owie, a former Chief Whip of the Senate, who represented Edo South in the red chamber of the National Assembly from 1999 to 2003, said he built and donated the grotto to the church to fulfill what was written in the book of Matthew and for his love for mother Mary.
“For me, it is only fulfilling the journey of Christ in the book of Matthew 25: 35-40 because this world is vanity even if you have 300 airplanes, the day you are gone, that is the end of the matter.
“Mother Mary, the mother of the world, mother of humanity and in all the mystical societies, about 3500 in Africa and Indian, woman is the symbol.
“And before Christ found me, those that I belonged to in Nigeria, woman is always the symbol”, he disclosed.
Owie stated that Mother Mary is a unique mother and that If you look at Genesis 1:16, it says at the beginning God created two lights and that the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night and the lesser light, is Mary.
Also speaking, the parish priest, Rev. Fr. Andrew Ovienloba, while thanking God for having the grotto at the church premises, charged the Catholic faithful to always make use of it adding that the house of God is said to be the house of prayer.
“I asked the good Lord to bless them and to reward them abundantly and our mother Mary should continue to intercede for them because it is a house of prayer because the Bible says my house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations and any particular place like that in a church, it is something you are not building for your own time, for the next 50 years, or 100 years, that place will be there because it is consecrated.
“So, I pray that each time people go there to pray, they too will receive blessings that come from faith that that place will generate”, he said.