THE PHILIPPINES: Tragedy at Hibok-Hibok

To the tranquil elders on the tiny Philippine island of Camiguin (pronounced come-agin), volcanoes were both the machinery of God's providence and the crucible of His wrath.

Over the centuries, Camiguin's craters benevolently poured forth soil-enriching lava which made the island abundant beyond the asking. But in periodic moments of ire, the volcanoes visited havoc and death on the people—always, said the elders, because God had been displeased by younger Camiguenos who grew lax in their churchgoing, forgetful of the feast days and neglectful of the sign of the cross. When his children did wrong, an elder would glance fearfully...

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