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|Bro. Mariano "Mike" Zuniega Velarde|
August 20, 1939 |
Caramoran, Catanduanes, Philippines
Real Estate Developer
|Children||Franklin, Rene, Selina and Michael|
Mariano "Mike" Zuniega Velarde (born August 20, 1939), better known as Bro. Mike Velarde, is the founder and "Servant Leader" of a Philippines-based Catholic Charismatic religious group called El Shaddai which has estimated following of three to seven million. He is the best known televangelist in the Philippines.
Bro. Mike is married to Avelina "Belen" del Monte and they have four children: Franklin, Rene, Selina and Michael. Velarde's son Rene Velarde representing the Buhay party, is the richest party-list congressman with a net worth of P30.9 million. His son, Franklin is an investor in the Puyat[who?]-controlled Manila Bank (total assets of P7.57 billion).
Bro. Mike began his involvement with Charismatic Christianity together with the late Russian-Filipino actor-turned-evangelist Ronald Remy who eventually founded the Corpus Christi Community, an Evangelical congregation now known as Lord Jesus Our Redeemer (LJOR) Church. Velarde, having experienced and been exposed to the Charismatic movement, decided to remain within the Roman Catholic Church. In 1984, he founded the El Shaddai movement and it has become an eclectic expression of Philippine folk Christianity, the Charismatic movement and Roman Catholicism. Velarde remains a layman within the Roman Catholic church.
His preaching style is no different from typical prosperity gospel-driven Pentecostal televangelists. It promises God's financial and physical blessings to all provided that they remain faithful in attendance to gatherings, giving their tithes and offerings, and obedience. Part of Velarde's practical theology is the use of certain inanimate objects such as handkerchiefs, bankbooks and umbrellas which are held aloft during services. Such practices are not foreign to Filipino indigenous and folk religion. Thus, Velarde's brand of Catholic Charismaticism is highly acceptable to a majority of Filipinos. Initially, Bro. Mike reports that only "the poorest of the poor" attended El Shaddai's services.
- El Shaddai (1995–1995)
- SYMONS, Emma-Kate (May 14, 2010). "Preacher Power". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
- "El Shaddai's Bro. Mike on presidency: 'It's my boyhood dream'". abs-cbnNEWS.com. 2008-09-22. Retrieved 2009-02-19.
- Party List Representatives among richest lawmakers, Manila Standard Today
- Philippine Daily Inquirer
- Aguilar, Malou L. (2008-01-04). "Miracles Are His Business" (PDF). Asian Journal. pp. 1–2. Retrieved 2009-02-19.
- Misgivings about the El Shaddai, Manila Standard, 1994