When he celebrated Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida in Brazil last July 24, Pope Francis promised that he would return in 2017 when that country would celebrate the 300th anniversary of the devotion to the Immaculate Conception under the title “Nossa Senhora de Aparecida (“appeared” or “apparition” in English).
Milagros Dolores, author of the book “Virgin of the Poor: A Tribute from Her Filipino Children” was one of the delegates of the Diocese of Cubao headed by Fr. Jojo Monis, who went to Brazil for World Youth Day.
There were 28 pilgrims, including two other priests.
It was the 13th Marian pilgrimage for Dolores, who has been traveling mostly to Marian shrines in Europe since 1981.
Of all the Marian shrines Dolores has visited, the Aparecida Basilica seems the largest, with a capacity of 45,000. In 2011 alone, 11 million pilgrims reportedly visited the shrine.
Discovery of the image
In October 1717, Domingos M. Garcia, Joao Alves and Filipe Pedroso had been casting their nets a long distance without catching any fish. At the port of Itaguaçu, Alves caught a headless clay statue of the Immaculate Conception. The next net brought in the head.
After the recovery of the statue, the fishermen started catching many fish; their fellow fishermen were even frightened that they would drown with so many fish in their canoes.
Pedroso brought home the image, placed the head back on its right place using black wax made from the arapua bees.
His son, Atanasio, built an oratory in 1732. People flocked to the site and miracles were attributed to the image.
Consecrated by John Paul II
The Sanctuary of Aparecida officially began on July 26, 1745 with the blessing and inauguration of the first church built by Fr. Jose Alves Vilella, pastor of Guaratingueta, on the hill of the Coqueiros , where today one can find the Old Basilica.
The feast day of Our Lady Aparecida is Oct. 12.
Since 1926, the people and the Redemptorist Missionaries had desired to build a larger church. On Nov. 11, 1955, construction began. The new edifice was consecrated by Pope John Paul II on on July 4, 1980.
Relics of saints exhibit
The Diocese of Parañaque, with the Work of the Saints Apostolate, is holding a public exposition and veneration of relics. The title of the exhibit is “The Holy Eucharist Makes Us Saints!”
The exhibit is in celebration of the Year of Faith and Parañaque’s Diocesan Year of the Eucharist.
This will be held in connection with the Diocesan Eucharistic Congress at St. Andrew’s Cathedral on Sept. 14.
Mass of Remembrance
The Prayer Warriors of the Holy Souls (PWHS) will hold a Mass of Remembrance tomorrow, 11 a.m., at the Chapel of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral on Lantana Street, Cubao, Quezon City.
Flowers for “Ina”
Fr. Rex Hidalgo of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Naga wrote to remind us that the feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia will be celebrated from Sept. 13 (day of translacion) to Sept. 22.
He said donations for flowers and Mass sponsorships for “Ina” are welcome.
Please send donations to China Banking Corporation (Naga branch) with savings account no. 262-156531-7, account names Msgr. Noe Badiola and/or Fr. Rex Luis Hidalgo.
Text your mailing address to Fr. Rex at 0917-5372962 for the official receipt.