Three miraculous events that happened because of the massive prayer of the Rosary by the people of the Philippines.
The Philippines, which was a territory colonized by the Spanish, today is one of the most Catholic and Marian countries in the world.
And it has had three amazing miracles related to the Rosary.
The one closest to our time happened in 1986 and involves the apparition of the Virgin Mary to protect the people, resulting in a political change in the nation.
It is counted as one of the greatest miracles produced by the praying of the Holy Rosary, appearing in all the listings as one of the ten most important miracles in the world and in all ages.
Here we will recount each of the three world famous miracles that happened in the Philippines.
The Holy Rosary has produced a great number of miracles all over the world, both at the level of people's lives and at the level of countries.
And in the Philippines, three miracles were recorded that are among the greatest known.
To the point that she gave her name to one of the greatest Philippine Marian devotions in one case, and in another to the construction of a large memorial shrine in Manila.
Shortly after the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, Dominican friars in the Philippines spread devotion to Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, to whom the victory in that historic battle is attributed.
And in 1593 they brought to the Philippines an image of her carved in ivory by a Chinese artisan, who later converted to the faith; it is said to be the oldest ivory carving in the Philippines.
And five decades later, in 1646 a great miracle occurred that renamed Our Lady of the Rosary of Manila as Our Lady of the Rosary of the Naval Manila.
On that occasion the Christians faced, between March 15 and October 4, 1646, in five bloody naval battles against the Dutch, English and corsairs, who not only sought the riches of the archipelago, but also intended to replace Catholicism with Dutch Protestant Calvinism.
Before each of the battles the people fervently sought the intercession of Our Lady of the Rosary by praying the Holy Rosary, hoping for protection similar to that which she had given to the Christians at Lepanto.
The most famous battle of 1646 was the one in which the galleons "Encarnación" and "El Rosario", managed to confront and defeat the fleet of fifteen Dutch frigates, which were better equipped and armed than the Spanish, trying to invade the Philippines.
Before each of the battles, the crew of the galleys, the soldiers, the Spanish religious and the Filipinos in general promised a special homage to the Virgin of the Rosary if the victory took place.
And after the triumph and the retreat of the Dutch, the crew members made a barefoot pilgrimage to her temple as a sign of gratitude, because they had had only 15 casualties in the five battles.
And on April 9, 1662, the Archdiocese of Manila declared the naval victory a miracle, the work of the intercession of the Virgin Mary.
And in homage, the name of the invocation was changed to Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of La Naval de Manila.
Many believers also affirm that this invocation of the Virgin is the one that maintains the Catholic faith in the Philippines.
Her feast day is the second Sunday of October and there is a procession through the streets called La Naval procession.
Later, a second miracle occurred during the Second World War.
On December 27, 1941, Japanese fighter planes bombed the city of Manila, dropping bombs on the church and convent of Santo Domingo, where the original image of Our Lady of the Rosary of La Naval was preserved.
The towers were destroyed, and only the walls remained standing, causing a fire that burned for several days.
When they were finally able to open the door of the temple with blowtorches, an infernal heat came out.
And when they were able to enter, they saw that the image of the Virgin of the Rosary had survived, even though everything around it had melted.
And everyone knelt down and immediately prayed "La Salve" in a loud voice.
But the most sensational miracle happened on February 25, 1986.
President Ferdinand Marcos had been ruling the Philippines dictatorially for 20 years and was increasingly unpopular.
And he had called for elections as a means of putting an end to opposition efforts, but failed, because Corazon Aquino, the widow and political replacement of assassinated opposition leader Ninoy Aquino, had won the presidential election by an overwhelming margin.
However, Marcos declared himself the winner, triggering an attempted uprising by a military group.
Marcos then ordered the arrest of the rebel army group.
Meanwhile the Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Jaime Sin, urged the people to take to the streets to protect the rebel leaders.
Millions of faithful Catholics heeded the call and gathered along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, known as EDSA.
People rallied around the rebel leaders, bringing nothing but rosaries, flowers, food and images of the Blessed Virgin.
Marcos had sent his tanks and armored vehicles to Manila to control the unstoppable public demonstrations.
And the response of the demonstrators was to pray the Rosary incessantly and offer garlands of flowers to the soldiers.
Even some brave nuns climbed on top of the approaching tanks.
As the soldiers and tanks tried to move forward to suppress the population, they saw in the sky what appeared to be a figure in the shape of a cross, but this did not stop them from continuing with their objective, and they continued to advance towards the crowd.
While the melody of the Hail Mary of the rosary prayer was the only sound that could be heard.
But suddenly the soldiers were stunned and stopped in their tracks.
A beautiful woman wrapped in an immense bright light and dressed like a nun became clearly visible standing in front of the tanks.
The crowd saw her appear surrounded by a light that was dazzling.
According to the soldiers, this beautiful woman dressed in blue, with heavenly eyes, appeared in front of them, stretched her arms upward and spoke in a voice clearly audible to all,
"Dear soldiers, stop! Do not continue. Do not harm my children. I am the Queen of this land."
Immediately the soldiers dropped their weapons, stopped advancing and joined the crowd to fight the Marcos regime.
The soldiers claimed that the woman who appeared to them was the Virgin Mary.
A television station that was covering the event publicly said "Mother Mary is with us!"
And Cardinal Jaime Sin would attest to the veracity of the apparition saying, "My heart told me that it was indeed Mary."
And he also reported that several soldiers came to him in tears, amazed by the "beautiful heavenly lady."
That same night President Marcos and his family left for Hawaii.
Later Cardinal Sin would reveal that he met with Sister Lucia, the only living Fatima seer, just before traveling to the United States to speak for the first time about Our Lady's apparition at the EDSA crisis.
And he was astonished because, although Sister Lucia had no access to newspapers, radio, television or magazines, she knew every detail of what had happened.
From these events, the concept of a special shrine dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary in honor of her presence was conceived on February 25, 1986.
And on his return to Manila, the Cardinal was traveling in the car with Auxiliary Bishop Gabriel Reyes to celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving, and they arrived at the intersection of EDSA and Ortigas, one of the busiest in Manila, and the place where intrepid nuns, and young men and women stood in front of the tanks and offered flowers to the soldiers.
And on that corner, there was a vacant lot with two huge billboards providentially of the Family Rosary Crusade, with the image of the Virgin Mary and the slogans "The family that prays together, stays together" and "A world in prayer is a world at peace".
That was when they conceived the idea of building the shrine there.
They made the corresponding contacts and the two families who owned the land donated it for the shrine.
Ten years later, in the same place where the rebels were protected by the crowds and in the area where the Blessed Virgin had appeared calling for peace, the shrine was built and named Mary, Queen of Peace of EDSA.
Dedicated to Our Lady who had miraculously interceded to overthrow the dictatorship in a peaceful and bloodless uprising, which is now known worldwide as the People Power Revolution of 1986.
A large statue of the Blessed Virgin was also placed on the beautiful roof of the EDSA Shrine in the middle of the busy intersection of EDSA and Ortigas Avenue.