Peter and Apolonia
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. 4 Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the Lord. 6 May you live to see your children’s children. (Psalm 128)
“I cannot explain my joy getting married in the sacrament of Jesus. There is something mystical in me and with my wife having undergone the spiritual preparations for the sacrament of marriage. I am speechless. I and my wife are blessed,” Peter Agwiking said while in tears when he delivered this message.
Apolonia cannot keep her joy to herself. She expressed it publicly after the wedding.
“My heart is overflowing with joy. Thank you so much for being a part of the celebration. Thank you for praying for us. We had been longing to get married in church but we lacked courage to do it until God touched people to help us. The plan of getting married in church has long been a dream but the plan became a reality last year when I met padi Marcs Castañeda and his companions after the Christmas mass in Tetep-an Norte. I appreciated their group because of the inspiring and lovely songs. I was attracted so I invited them at home for coffee. The youth sung joyfully and filled our old house with the spirit of Christmas. It was the first time that I asked questions regarding getting married in church. I talked it out with my husband and I won his heart. We coordinated with padi for the preparations. We even visited him in Tengab, Bontoc for more inquiries and instructions. Finally, I and my husband decided and prepared. Indeed, there is joy in getting married in church. We experienced happiness that we cannot comprehend but our faith in God will tell,” she said.
Gilbert and Rita Bang-i, Teresa Bang-i, and other active church leaders from Tetep-an, Sagada, Mountain Province had been encouraging and helping the couple for the sacrament of marriage.
They felt a bit awkward when they had their first church kiss in public to tell to the world that couples need to get married in church for God to bless their union.
Their six grown up children served as flower girls and secondary sponsors. The family was a picture of faith, hope, and love.
Why get married in church? Because a civil or cultural wedding is not enough.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) explains, “God who is love and who created man and woman for love has called them to love. By creating man and woman he called them to an intimate communion of life and of love in marriage: ‘So that they are no longer two, but one flesh’ (Matthew 19:6). God said to them in blessing ‘Be fruitful and multiply’ (Genesis 1:28). (CCC 1601-1605)
Christ not only restored the original order of matrimony but raised it to the dignity of a sacrament, giving spouses a special grace to live out their marriage as a symbol of Christ’s love for his bride, the Church: “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the Church” (Ephesians 5:25). CCC 1661
The sacrament of matrimony establishes a perpetual and exclusive bond between the spouses. God himself seals the consent of the spouses. Therefore, a marriage which is ratified and consummated between baptized persons can never be dissolved. Furthermore, this sacrament bestows upon the spouses the grace necessary to attain holiness in their married life. (1638-1642)
Their 50 years of civil union was blessed with seven children. Unfortunately, one left earlier to the heavenly realm. The beautiful couple is blessed with 14 grandchildren.
Peter is 69 years old and Apolonia is 68.
On Feb. 27, Peter and Apolonia were officially called a Christian couple and their family, a Christian family. The couple ended the month of love by getting married in church.
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